Search This Blog

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Nail Polish Musings: Courage to Reveal Self

You never know when a seemingly casual conversation with someone will really end up having an impact.  Often, I think the other person involved in the conversation has no idea their thoughts and words will later make a difference. Such was the case for me and a conversation I had with someone over two years ago. Yup! took me two years to figure out the message...

At a party, I had remarked to this person that I liked her nail polish.  That's how casual this encounter was.  It just caught my eye. Totally coordinated with her outfit. Rather than just brush off the complement, we ended up talking about nail polish for a bit.  I told this person I admired nail polish on others but it "just wasn't my thing".  I explained that by times I had tried putting it on, but I really just didn't feel comfortable wearing it.  The thing is- this person understood that feeling.  Maybe it's more common than I would have thought!  She explained that at one time she had felt the same way,almost embarrassed to reveal that kind of "flash",  but believed you had to try it out and test the waters. She explained she was now very comfortable with it and enjoyed it.

See what I mean.. a pretty casual, seemingly superficial conversation.  And yet it wasn't. There was something else exchanged there that took me two years to figure out. Hmm..

I realize I do have some thoughts on nail polish that go way beyond the surface. Truth be told, there have been times in my life when I've been pretty disdainful of this decoration. It probably goes way back for me. I grew up with a Wise Woman that among millions of other things, was at one time, an "Avon Lady". There was an ample supply of samplings and trial packs and display items. I shrugged off  all that stuff.  I didn't want to gather with the women in the kitchen and get "practiced on". I escaped to the barn where I could get my hands dirty and work hard pitching hay, shoveling stalls out, or milking cow. I wanted to  feel rewarded for my skills, not my "being". The Wise Women let me go.

Later on in my life the nail polish re-emerged. When I started working in emergency services there weren't a lot of women in the field. And yet, of those that did, a surprising number of them were real nail polish wearers! I was kind of disgusted by that, truth be told. I thought they should "blend in" with the guys I guess and not flaunt such "girlish" attributes when working. I'm just telling it like it was, and remember, I've had some revelations about this! I once had a partner that could put on her lipstick, balance a coffee cup, and drive weaving in and out of heavy downtown city traffic with sirens wailing. All at once. Nail polish in tact.

At another point in my life when I was immersed in the English Horse Show & Jumping circuits, I discovered female trainers were of the "nail polish camp" as well.  I still really can't figure out how they do that.  They shovel out stalls, clean and adjust tack, feed and exercise huge animals and sport beautiful nails. I know for a fact most of them have broken a bone or two in their careers and yet somehow they don't seem to "break a nail"?? And in the Western world of barrel racing it's not much different. Hmm...

I guess a part of me admired those nail polish flaunts. But the surface part didn't at all.  I cut my nails short so they would be "functional".  I was pretty proud of scars on my hands and considered that evidence of how hard I worked.  I wanted to be seen as "capable" and tough I guess.  I thought nail polish signified something I didn't want revealed I guess.

So here's what I think now....

I think those Wise Women were having a lot of fun.  They were "tough as nails" and yet they gathered together and laughed and allowed their creative sides to take over. They painted their own nails, they painted each others' nails and they tried out all kinds of colors. They were so comfortable in their sense of self and their ability to perform, match up, and take on the world, that they could reveal their gentler, less serious, feminine side as well. They knew how to balance work and play, feminine and masculine energy.  No tug of wars for them  Hmm...

There might be a match here for the Bach Flower essence Agrimony. When in an Agrimony state you wear a mask to hide your true self. The mask is often a layer of humor. Perhaps it can also be a layer of disdain for nail polish? When an Agrimony type is balanced they have a real sense of self-acceptance so they don't need the mask anymore. They communicate openly and aren't afraid to reveal their true feelings. The mask comes off in a balanced Agrimony state and perhaps that allows an opening for true creativity.

If I had those earlier times back again, I think I would sit there at the kitchen table basking in the energy of those Wise Women. I think I would be very patient and involved while they painted my nails in glittery colors.  I imagine I would then skip out the door with my painted nails and go show them to the cows while I shoveled out the stalls.  I guess I could admire the glitter while I milked.  It isn't about having to choose, it's about having it all!

As I type this, my nails are a beautiful shade of green.  High Heart green actually  Maybe I'll invest in all the chakra colors of nail polish!  And if driven inside because of the rain or the bugs I suggest you celebrate with a bit of color. Better yet, have a color party and see what kind of casual conversations come up!

No comments:

Post a Comment