As the paint-soaked brush lightly glossed the enamel of my nails, I felt the cool purple color brighten up my mood. Until, my mother said, “You’re painting your nails pink?! You hate pink!” I was so confused as what I had originally seen as a bright purple quickly changed before my eyes into a hot pink. How disgusting. And then I noticed the light. As I went from room to room, outdoors to indoors, I noticed that the nail polish looked different. It was pink in some instances, and the desired purple in others. I ended up removing the color after a couple of days because of the bad lighting that shown pink.
I can’t help but wonder if this is how I look to people. On some days they see me in good lighting and on others I’m that ugly shade of pink. I want to be their favorite color every single day, a ray of light in the gloomiest of times. Days pass where I know I’m just a robot, going through the motions, walking without shine like a dirty, dull penny. At the end of the day, I can’t help but ask. Did I even say hi to them? Did I smile? Did I try to bring them hope? I took off that nail polish. What if someone decides to take me off? To take me out of their life?
Today, my nails are colorless and I am satisfied. They are natural. They don’t shine or sparkle, but they feel like me. Today is a clean start. I’m radiating my natural light. I’m hoping I shine to you. I’m hoping I can shine through you. And that you can spread that shine through someone else.
Photo by Josh Boot on Unsplash
A perfectly fall crisp was in the air on October 10, just a mere two days after my 22nd birthday. We were on our way to the disney-inspired magical setting of the lantern festival, just Jacob and me.
The soon-to-be special night started off with music, fair-like food, and games. After finding the perfect spot to set up “camp”, we both wrote on our lanterns, but Jacob wouldn’t let me see his. I just thought ‘Whatever, he’s being weird, but ok.’
Once the sun set it was time to roast some marshmallows around a fire pit of strangers. There’s nothing like chocolate and a warm fire to bring people together. Before the lantern palooza kicked off, I decided to run to the restroom. Little did I know Jake was talking to other festival-goers while I was gone, cooking up something suspicious.
They were off, little lights slowly turning into manmade stars drifted off into the sky. We lit mine first and let it go together. Then, all of a sudden, the perfect song came on. “Bittersweet Symphony” by the Verve made the awestruck atmosphere that much more romantic. Then when I turned around Jacob was holding his lantern and on it was written “Nat Will You Marry Me?” in red lettering.
My heart was filled and I couldn’t do anything but cry and utter “Is this real life?” as he got down one knee after sending off the lantern with him. He looked up at me and pulled out the perfect vintage ring as he said,
“I’ve known since New Year’s that I wanted to marry you. Would you do me the honor in marrying me?”
Of course I said yes and next thing I knew he had picked me up and spun me around. We kissed and watched the lanterns float off into the night sky, and I couldn’t believe I was going to marry my best friend and get to spend every single day and night with him truly in love.