For the longest time – I can only remember my nails being used as a source of distraction when I am stressed, bored or just unconscious and oblivious to the world.
My nails had never been alive to me. Literally serving their role as dead matter, it had never occurred to me that I would ever want to pamper myself and get my nails done.
The fateful day came when I had a horrific day at work which resulted in a shift in thinking around the corporate working world and the relationships that I had built within my time there. I was completely livid and all I wanted to do is curl up, face down on my pillow.
You know the routine, when someone or something has ticked you off, you have to have people who will help you through it.
Person number one is responsible for agreeing with you – irrespective of whether you are right or wrong. This person is your feel good pill! They support you and your current mood, completely fueling your ego and tasked with making you feel better.
Person number two is your conscious. They listen to you and support you but also give you feedback on the things you had subconsciously stored in your head. Basically, they support you but also tell you exactly where you are wrong. This voice of reason is usually an older sibling or a close friend.
The third go-to victim of your emotional turmoil is the person who is your voice of reason. They basically tell you everything you don’t want to hear when you are still emotional. This person you only see once you have calmed down and can think straight. They will re-tell your story to you, not leaving out brutal facts about where you may have been wrong in the situation. They are the person who puts it all into perspective. Parents usually do well here.
These three people have helped me through various emotional spurs of unconsciousness where I can’t even reason. The positions have remained the same but the people constantly change depending on what the situation is. You should try having your own list of helper bees too 🙂
So there I was, two phone calls made to person 1 & 2 before I hit the nail parlour.
I sat in the reception room, feeling out of place and occasionally glancing at my hands and fingers to try and conjour justification in my head for wanting to do this.
“I am stressed
I deserve to feel good about myself
I need to take better care of my appearance – even if its just nails.”
These are the lame excuses I replayed in my head. There was never a real reason why I had never done my nails before, but now that I wanted to do them, I kept hunting for justification as to why I should. I was that girl who didn’t even bother to do her nails for matric dance.
I sat in front of the lady who was due to transform my grubby looking paws – my fingers clutched inside my palm and waiting.
“You are here to do your nails right?” she asked with a confused look on her face.
I mean, it only makes sense to display your hands on the table for her to begin her work. Unfortunately for her, she was about to work on a strip of nails that looked like they had been snacked on by a puppy.
Embarrassingly, I lay out my hands and she laughed! Laughed at me – never with me.
Obviously I responded with a quick “this is why I am here, I need you to make my nails look good. I had such a bad day, feeling off and and and…” I tried my best to squeeze in all my justifications in one breath.
She started working her magic. With each step, I got more and more excited. I got a palette of colours to choose from and was already feeling uplifted and almost better. She continued as I watched with awe at
the transformation of the mind dump that was my nails, to a well nourished field at the tips of my fingers.
What seemed like the worst day ever, all of a sudden became a better day! I sent all my people photos of my brand new nails during and after the process – making sure that they are aware that I am working towards achieving a better mood.
By the time I walked out of the parlour, I had calmed down significantly and started feeling like my chirpy self again.
I sat in the car starring at my new nails for a while, perplexed at how a set of false items can make me feel so good?!
You see, it wasn’t the fact that I had the nails that made me reflect ,but rather the realisation of where I placed my priorities regarding my happiness.
Let’s say I hadn’t had a bad day at work and wasn’t feeling down. What would have motivated me to try out something new that could make me feel so good about myself?
We wait to find reason to make ourselves happy. On an ordinary day, we don’t bother with the small pleasures and gifts that we deserve. Instead, we have to compile a list of justifications to ourselves as to why we deserve the new nails, the new car, the new book, that new dress and a pair of shoes. We only want to take care of our bodies and lose weight because we are getting married, because summer is coming up. We will only invest in ourselves and our own happiness when we realise we are not happy. Why must we get to a state that needs our attention and awakening before we commit to taking care of our own happiness?
If anything, these nails reminded me to take better care of myself and my feelings. I need to pay attention more to how I feel. I have consciously decided to make more of an effort to do things that fuel my happiness. I want to decide to be happy when it suits me – not when I am so livid, that I am driven to be.
I usually do well at keeping a recreational balance and positive aura. I insist on doing things that I want to do and keeping in sync with my yoga, cooking and reading. Now I insist on focusing on doing things that make me feel good!