Yellow Nail Polish

I received my first manicure when I was eight years old. I went with my mom to a small place in our hometown mall, and was immediately overwhelmed with the smell. The chemical fume and cleaning alcohols combined and drifted through the room, hitting my poor eight-year-old self in the face like a punch.

An immediate headache formed at the base of my neck, but by the time I saw the “polish wall”, all thoughts of discomfort were forgotten. I had never seen so many different shades in my life, all organized so neatly and pristine in their racks. As a natural born artist, I almost cried at the beauty of this many colors in one place. My mom laughed at my amazement, and picked out her typical cherry red.

I, on the other hand, am very poor at decision making, and even as a child I began to fret and worry about making the wrong choice.

After minutes of contemplation and pacing along the wall, I think I chose a pink. I can’t remember, because the tickling of my toes and the scrubbing sensation along the soft bottoms of my feet made me squirm. The lady doing my pedicure didn’t even ask if I wanted a flower on the big toe, because I wasn’t even aware that was an option. She did it anyways, and put a rhinestone in the center. I was nearly in joyous tears. How could they possibly paint something so beautiful and delicate on a toe? 

My mind was blown, and I walked through the mall in my flip flops, freshly polished feet, and a freaking FLOWER on my toes. This was my first experience at the nail salon, and not much has changed or compares to the clean, glowing feeling that comes from it.

It’s been over a decade since I began getting mani/pedi’s and I’ve probably recieved over 100. And never in the past 11 years, have I gotten the color yellow.

I’ve been in somewhat of a rut lately, between the weather and my seasonal affective disorder. I’m enjoying my classes this semester, but worried about the summer, finding a job, finding an apartment, other tedious adult duties. I’ve been reading a lot of poetry though, and the more I hear about “finding and listening to your voice”, the more I realize that routine is the killer of creativity- and creativity is the life force of poets, writers, and artists.

The worst part is, I am the most routine of people. I wake up at the same time, exercise every morning, eat the same breakfast, listen to the same playlist, take the same route to class, eat the same lunch, take a nap at the same time, read and complete my homework on time, eat the same dinner, and go to bed at the same time.

And you know what? I love this. This is comfortable, this is normal, this is easy. These habits make me feel like I’m in control (THE ROOT OF ALL MY PROBLEMS), and my constant climb to control is killing my creativity.

So I made an attempt to escape. No more casual pinks, easy-going reds, I took a risk at the salon yesterday. I painted my nails BRIGHT YELLOW. And it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

Today, my fingers have happily flipped through pages, typed at super speeds, and traced over notebooks with grace and ease. They remind me that there is hope, there is a sun hiding behind the clouds. This may be a small leap of faith, my silly yellow nails, or it may be the demolishing of the structured routine, in order to part the way for my creative muses to take over.

I’ll keep you posted on what color I choose next. Whatever it is, it’ll be bright, unique, bold (and maybe neon).




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