Do you ever get those moments when you look at someone and think to yourself, “I love this person. But right now I’d quite like to pick up my chair and hit them in the face with it.” ???
Come on now, we’ve all had those moments, just admit it. Those we love the most can often frustrate us the most. (Also just so you know, I’ve never actually hit anyone in the face with a chair).
But this is how my mate Nicola was feeling towards me last week at our fortnightly trip to local the nail bar. (it’s our thing)
I was tired, exhausted (great company Em!) and utterly incapable of making a decision about my nail colour.
It was getting pretty frustrating for all involved.
To be fair, I wanted to hit myself in the face with a chair.
For those of you not accustomed to the nail bar experience, let me quickly enlighten you.
Firstly, your nail technician soaks your fingers in acetate (seems legit!) to remove the existing nail polish, liberally soaking cotton buds and wrapping them around your sodden fingers in tin foil until you begin to feel an affinity with the Tin-Man from The Wizard of Oz.
It is at this exact moment when you are given the nail polish swatches from which you are to choose your next nail colour.
These swatches are a source of unproportioned distress for me.
Not only because the foil prohibits the use of my fingers for a dextrous sort through, but also because of the overwhelming choice presented before me.
I never knew there were that many shades of red on this earth until I visited a nail bar.
So many colours.
So many shades.
So much opportunity to get it wrong!
What’s that?? Why am I making such a fuss? Why do nails matter so much?
Well you see, nails are my thing.
It’s something I picked up from my Grandma who was a source of constant fascination for me as a little girl.
She told the most delightful stories about her life and the adventures she and Grandpa got up to. She could take even the most mundane story and spin it into a tale which would have you laughing until you snorted (that’s when you know you’re having a good time!!).
And as she weaved her narratives throughout my childhood years, she revealed herself to be a woman of strength, courage and a huge amount of sass!
To top it all, she had the most beautifully polished and perfectly manicured nails that I had ever seen in real life. I was mesmerised by her.
One day I asked her “Grandma, why do you always have such nice nails?”
She turned and looked me straight in the eye and said kindly “How I show up in this world Em, is how I choose to show up in this world.”
It was then that I vowed to myself as solemnly as a 7 year old can, that when I grew up, I too would always have perfectly polished nails, even if what my Grandma had just said made no fucking sense to me at all.
Of course, 29 years later and the penny drops.
You see, life is always calling on us to make choices. Some of them will be as trivial as nail colour and some will take great strength to make, like choosing to leave an unfulfilling relationship or opening your heart up to love again.
And at times, life will make decisions for us – we don’t always get to choose. It takes great courage to navigate grief, heart-break and business and still rock up every day with your essence intact – I call it Sass.
Ultimately, Grandma nailed it – how we show up in this world is how we CHOOSE to show up in this world. That is where our real power lies.
And in that moment, I choose to show up as the type of woman I had so admired in my childhood (to be fair though, it was a close call between Grandma and Mary Poppins).
So I turned to Nicola (who by now was actively looking for a chair to throw at me) and said, “I need a colour that says Strength, Courage and Sassy.”
It took us less than 3 seconds to select Hot Pink Sunrise #127.
It’s funny how the simple act of working out who you want to be, can help you make choices with such confidence.
Much love, Em x