A friend of mine IRL sent me this lovely question and told me to post it here:
How often do you paint/re-paint your nails? How do you decide when to give up something that is already so beautiful and perfect for the promise of something that isn’t guaranteed to be more beautiful than the last thing? I think I’m asking how to live my life.
How often I paint my nails depends on how busy I am (right now, for instance, I’m unemployed and painting my nails like whoa), how excited I am about a design in my head or a new polish I want to try, and how badly my previous nail art is chipping. It’s usually somewhere between 2-7 days.
One of the nice things about this hobby is that I simply don’t have the option to hold on to the things I make—the polish wears off pretty quickly all by itself. If nail polish lasted for years I would be too paralyzed with fear of fucking up to ever get started.
I need things in my life that force me to let go. I really, really hate changing. I don’t like fear, uncertainty, trying new things, not being good at things, making mistakes, etc. I have a long history of choosing familiar misery over something uncertain that has the potential to be really good. So I went to college in the town I grew up in, and I stayed there after I graduated even though there were no jobs in my field and I ended up working a dead-end security guard gig I could have done with a GED. I only left because my partner was going to grad school, which meant I had to choose between two huge, scary changes: life without him or life somewhere else. So I moved, and it ended up being one of the best and healthiest decisions of my life.
One thing I’ve learned in recent years is how often I am wrong. I’m in the middle of Major Life Changes right now and I spend a lot of time thinking and worrying about the future. Most of those thoughts and worries are no doubt wildly off-base. The things I desperately want would probably make me crazy and the things I’m terrified of would probably make me stronger and kinder. And who knows how I will feel about it next month.
In a lot of ways I just do not know what I’m doing. I think actually most people don’t, but we don’t want anyone to know that so we furiously pretend otherwise. We can try our best to make the right moves, we can ask those we trust and we can empty our minds and listen for that still, small voice to guide us, but we’re always making a gamble. And that’s okay, we can survive it.
मैं तुमसे बहुत प्यार करती हूँ, ग्रेग जी.