I am not good at painting nails; I never have been.
Maybe it started by the horrible fine motor skills that I have had since I was a child or maybe it was so difficult because of my lack of confidence in something I know I won’t excel in. Regardless of the reason why, I never painted my nails growing up. I always had my mom or my sister to help me with it.
Then, when I got older, I started to want to paint my own nails. It became a way to calm down and de-stress at the end of a troubling day. Or it was a startlingly easy way to express creativity.
It was uncomplicated and undemanding. Pick a color, paint it on, and they’re done.
But even when I actually gained the desire to paint my nails, I, unfortunately, did not gain the skill it took to paint them well.
One would think that it would take very little talent to take a small, little brush and paint small, little fingernails. Yet, I still am not good at it.
I get the persistent paint all over my cuticles, I smudge up my hard work, and I leave a bread crumb trail of nail polish drops all over the place where I was painting. But, it still makes me feel accomplished no matter how off-putting my process is.
Not only am I not good at painting my own nails, but I am also somehow even worse at decorating and designing the nails of others. It’s a charming way to express love to a friend, a comforting way to sit down with someone you care about and tangibly express it.
Pick a color, paint it on, and they’re done. Smudgey, sloppy, sticky, but done nonetheless.
The nails may be untidy and chipped and clumped up, but that does not change the fact that they still have color on them.
A lot of things in life are like my rather unfortunately messy yet altogether lovingly painted nails. I put in effort and pieces of myself into things, and they turn up not as pristine as I would want them to be.
But that does not dissuade any of the work I put in. The outcome can be homely, but it’s the prickly fruit of caring labor. The end product may not be beautiful, but they’re well-deserved and of value.
My nails are messy, but they’re still colorful.