I always figured that I would outgrow my strange awkwardness.  One day, the glasses would disappear, I’d grow six inches straight up, and my clothes wouldn’t make me look like a sack of potatoes tied up in the middle.  But it was apparently not to be.  It took some time, but I eventually made peace with the way that I look.  I am average, and I say that in the best possible way.  Neither here nor there, really.  Never the prettiest woman in the room, but not ugly either.  And I’m ok with that.  I have a happy family, a significant other who loves me, and a cat that makes my day.  I have little to complain about.

     It can be a little trying, though, when both your mother and sister are more stunning than you.  My mother is tall enough to be a model, with long attenuated limbs and high cheekbones.  My sister is a tiny marathon runner, with a physique that causes men to crack their necks from whipping around to watch her walk by (yes, I’ve seen it happen with my own two eyes).  And then there is, ahem, me.  It is sometimes hard to imagine that we all came from the same gene pool.

     I have thick, coarse incredibly frizzy hair that is perpetually in need of a trim.  I do my best to straighten it, but it always comes off looking a little…fried.  I am incredibly pale.  I mean we’re talking translucent here.  And not in a stunningly porcelain way, although that would be nice.  I am, at the ripe old age of 30, still dealing with the long-term effects of a bad case of teenage acne.  (Good god, this is really starting to sound bad, isn’t it?)  I wear glasses.  And I have a build that could charitably be described as “sturdy.”  That about sums up my physical being.  The whole effect is decidedly…um, frumpy?  Which is never a look I intentionally went for.  It just sort of… happened.  One day I woke up and my frizzy hair met my comfortable shoes, which met my well-worn jeans, which met my tragically pale skin to create and overall look of well, me.

     All of these assessments brought me to two conclusions: that I was not nearly taking as much care of my appearance as I could be, and that changes aren’t going to happen by themselves.

     And that was how the Olivia Project was born.  For as long as I can keep it up, I’m going to try to give myself a good scrubbing for the coming year.  Nothing overly dramatic; I still want to be myself when all is said and done.  But I’m planning a multi-pronged approach to attack my health, my appearance, and my home.  I want to be healthy, coiffed, and organized by the year’s end.  Can I do it?  Or will I kill myself in the process?