It’s no secret to anyone that reads this site that I am a nail polish junkie.

I collect polish like most people collect shoes or handbags.

It’s a rare occasion when at least my toes don’t have some kind of glitter on them, and I feel naked when they are bare.

These days, it’s a hobby, but when I was younger, I did my nails even more frequently than I do now. Typically I’ll do a design once a week, and then maybe a polish change when it starts to chip. When I was in school? It was as often as I had time to do it. Even while I was rocking my tomboy glam, I had a manicure to match (typically it was a metallic blue.)

It gave me something to focus on when homework and school projects couldn’t distract me from feeling like an outcast. Is it a day where we can socialize in class? I only had one friend; she and I didn’t have class together, and a bunch of acquaintances I suspected dealt with me out of obligation rather than actually wanting to be around me (admittedly: this probably wasn’t true. But you couldn’t tell 14 year old me that.) So while everyone conversed, I would listen and smile where appropriate. My mind wasn’t there, though. I was thinking about if I’d saved up enough money for a new color for my hands.

It also helped to keep focus off of what I perceived as my flaws. Imperfect skin and teeth. I was fat. What I had going for me, in my mind, was that I was smart, and all of my insecurities added up to me being pretty obnoxious about it. Overcompensation, perhaps.

Folks were able to look past everything to ask how my nails were so perfect. In my mind, my nails were the only thing that could be perfect.

Perfection, like beauty, is a state of mind that manifests into the physical. If you say you are, then it’s true. 14 year old me was not aware of that revelation.

14 years later, I still love to do my nails. But these days, it’s all about perfecting a craft than it is pursuing this idea of perfection or trying to distract from perceived flaws. I could say I’m saving money by learning to do this myself, but let’s be real. With the way I buy nail polish, any savings are negated. But it relaxes me when work stresses me. It inspires me when I have writers block. It helps me break the ice when I’m around new people. And for that, I am profoundly grateful that something as simple as some nail polish came into my life.

This is only about 1/4th of the collection.

This is only about 1/8th of the collection.

Lord knows I don’t need any more polish; the three bottles I bought a few days ago notwithstanding. What I could use is a better organization system for all of them. Anyone have any ideas? 🙂

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