Could Tom Hardy Get Any Better? How His Story Gave Me Hope and Will Inspire You Too

Perhaps nothing is a more inspiring story than someone able to turn their life around, rise from the ashes, take a bad situation and make something good happen. It’s a great narrative not just because it’s inspirational and provides you with a sense of hope, although those are wonderful effects, but also because these stories are humbling. They remind us, nothing is permanent and many things are not as they seem – whether life is going perfectly well or heartbreakingly terrible at the present moment, there is more that’s still unwritten. Any circumstance can turn around and take a different direction and there are a lot of things  at any given moment we may not fully comprehend. Having said that, we do have an awful lot of power at our hands as well. Respecting that which we don’t know (yet) or understand, while finding the inner strength to take on life’s challenges is a very exciting path to find oneself traversing.

 

Which brings me to the subject matter I really want to discuss – attractive, fascinating men. Actually, one man in particular, Tom Hardy. In case you don’t know who he is, allow me to significantly improve your day with a brief introduction . Tom Hardy is a British actor who has appeared in movies and on television since 2001, and is arguably best known for his starring role in Mad Max Fury Road, but you may also know him from his roles in Bane or Inception. Here is an informative article (with photos) if you’d like to dive in further. Currently, he stars in a TV show called Taboo, which is a BBC series that is being aired in the US on the FX network. Taboo is a dark, gritty period drama, which he also co-created, where Tom Hardy plays the main character, James Delaney, whose father dies, leading him to come home to Englandafter an extended period of time in Africa. It’s a morally ambivalent role in which the threat of brutality and malevolence seem imminent. These themes couldn’t lie further in opposition from his real-life personality. He is known as kind, warm and even gentle, extending a lot of empathy and compassion to creatures great and small.

Tom Hardy has spoken very openly about his struggles with addiction. He was a very heavy drug user in his 20’s, and found himself spiraling out of control just as his acting career was starting to take off. He’s been clean for almost 15 years but he believes having been in dark spots in his life has shaped his work.  Now in 2017, he is a successful actor and long-time animal lover who is known to be incredibly close and loving with his dogs. After reading all this, you may understand why I am so obsessed, uh, I mean, IMPRESSED, with Tom Hardy. He represents the vulnerability and fragility in all of us, but has overcome great obstacles to achieve incredible things – all while relying on love and openness to stay on track.

Which brings us back to my earlier thoughts. The idea that we can turn around even the most difficult and hopeless-seeming situation and make that the basis for a better life. Like Tom, we first must admit to ourselves that it may not be a simple task. In my opinion, difficult and impossible are in direct opposition to each other. Acknowledging that something won’t be easy is also recognizing that real steps can be taken to achieve that goal. Tom isn’t just an example of someone taking on  challenges and coming out victorious, he’s a reflection of the human condition that exists in each one of us. Each of us is a walking contradiction – beautiful but also tormented, grateful but also full of yearning, blessed but also troubled. And just like him, we are full of promise, full of potential. We make choices every day that changes the course of our lives, while also living in the magic of each moment, knowing that there are forces that we can’t control, that write our stories alongside of us and make each life unique and amazing.

Batting 1000: What Learning to Love False Lashes Taught Me about the Meaning of Makeup

It appears as though the popularity of makeup only seems to be growing recently, and particularly in my home as my girls embed themselves in the dreaded teens. They’ve launched a makeup revolution and dragged me with them. And why not – makeup is fun, it’s transformative and it requires skill and practice to perfect. It can change not just the way you look but the way you feel, even the way you view your surroundings. I’ve recently become obsessed with false eyelashes. I’m blaming my girls—let’s go with that. When I look out from underneath long, luxurious lashes I see a rose-colored world before me. I’m inspired to seek out beauty and loveliness wherever I can.  And bat my lashes, there is definitely a lot of batting going on.

Makeup and beauty are related, but I don’t want to conflate the two—they aren’t synonymous. Beauty has different meanings across cultures, over different time periods, even from one individual to the next. Makeup, although a tool to achieve certain beauty standards, holds its own place. If you think of beauty as a city, makeup is a building in one neighborhood of that city, perhaps an adorable two-floor walk up with bay windows and excellent lighting. Using makeup is just an incredibly personal act. Anyone who does or has done it, probably remembers with a certain amount of warm, happy sentiment, learning to apply and wear it, and, like a tattoo or a keepsake, a particular beauty product carries with it an immediate recollection of certain feelings and experiences.

 

 

Our attitude about makeup and beauty changes over the course of our own lives. What we may have loved about makeup in our teens and twenties, the fact that it makes you look older, more mature or more rebellious, is no longer something that appeals to us. But the intensely personal nature of makeup, the fact that it markedly changes how we look and feel, affects our level of confidence, and how much or how little to wear is such an individualized choice, that it infuses each tube of lipstick, fluffy brush and eyeshadow pot with a deeply touching degree of meaning.

 

In my upcoming contemporary release, Positively Pippa, the heroine is a girly-girl, who loves makeup, fashion and everything flirty, frilly and fun. She is based on TLC’s Stacy London (host of What Not To Wear and Love, Lust or Run.) Her appreciation for aesthetics has in part inspired me to experiment with makeup. When I apply false lashes, which is by no means an easy feat and requires a steady hand and a delicate approach with the glue (that crap gets everywhere), I can’t help but think of Pippa and my time with her. When I brought her to life in the book, she appeared at my side as an exciting, bubbly BFF, inspiring me to push my boundaries and explore new parts of myself. From this point forward, whenever I put on, or even see, a pair of jaunty eyelashes in their little purple box, I’ll think of Pippa and her affect on me. The way she exhorts her “clients” to be the best version of themselves.

Honey, I am going to my grave with my eyelashes and my makeup on.
— Tammy Faye Baker

Famous makeup-fan Tammy Faye Baker is known for saying “Honey, I am going to my grave with my eyelashes and my makeup on.” That’s a woman who knows who she is! The way you feel and think about makeup, your relationship to it, defines who you are in so many ways. Your makeup is a narrative of your own individual, unique truth. At the end of the day when you take off your makeup and lashes, make sure that you’ve written the story you want to tell, because that’s all that matters.