What is that bad choice that’s holding you hostage right now?
You know you should stop because it will come to bite you hard one day, but you keep convincing yourself that there is still time to wean yourself off it
The other day, a colleague and I had a good laugh when, sounding frustrated, I blurted out that the worst mistake I made in my younger years was ‘threading’ my eyebrows.
For the sake of the gentlemen reading this, ‘threading’ is a method of hair removal where a beautician uses a piece of thread to uproot some of the eyebrow hair, the aim to make the eyebrows symmetrical. Yeah, yeah, I know what you’re thinking, you’re wondering whether they weren’t symmetrical to begin with…
They were, (sigh), but threading was the in-thing at the time, your eyebrows would be plucked until they looked like ‘alama ya mshangao’, a question mark, for those who failed Kiswahili. I must mention that it was such a painful process, so painful in fact, your eyes would tear involuntarily, but beauty comes at a price, right?
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Unfortunately, like tends to happen with bad choices, many of us did not know when to stop, and before we realised that we had made a blunder, that we should have just been satisfied with our God-given eyebrows, the expert ‘threaders’, (majority were men, I don’t know why) had over plucked our eyebrows such that they had stopped growing. And so we resorted to drawing them back every morning before leaving the house, which is a case of irony if there ever was one.
It is irony that my eldest son had pointed out one day a few years ago. I had been standing in front of the mirror preparing for work, and with the perception that is characteristic of children, he had wondered, “Mum, why would you shave your eyebrows and then draw them back?”
I had paused momentarily because until that point, I hadn’t really thought about it. I should have stopped at that point, but you know how it is with bad choices.
Anyway, I had sounded frustrated as I made that confession to my colleague because I had unconsciously rubbed my palms over my face, and with this gesture, I had ‘rubbed’ off part of my eyebrows. Now I would have to ‘draw’ that part back on. I wasn’t amused. My colleague had burst out laughing and after catching her breath, she told me she could relate, that she too (we are more or less the same age), was paying the price for being too aggressive with the threading. She too had to ‘boost’ her eyebrows every morning before coming to work.
Dear reader, there is nothing as refreshing and as therapeutic as being able to laugh at yourself. When you master the art of laughing at yourself, I have learnt, you tend to forgive yourself more easily, and when people mock you, you simply laugh them off and keep living your life.
I have to ask, since I cannot possibly write about eyebrows until I exhaust my word count, what is that bad choice that is holding you hostage right now? You know you should stop because it will come to bite you hard one day, but you keep convincing yourself that there is still time to wean yourself of it. It could be an addiction, you know that life will get better if you kick it to the curb, but you keep postponing the decision to quit. Or a bad relationship that you keep hoping will get better but you know it will end in tears, as we like to say on social media streets. Whatever it is, there is no better time than the present to stop, if you wait, it might be too late.
The writer is editor, Society & Magazines, Daily Nation. Email: [email protected] ke.nationmedia.com