The Hands That Hold La Regenta, Not Average, and That’s Finally Okay

The girl at the nail salon just shook her head at me when I insisted on this polish. She tried and tried to explain that it was clear (“But, that’s what I want,” I told her), and she went to the rack to bring back several bottles of colored polish each bolder than the next.

I am not a bold person. I do not even consider myself a very sparkly person, in terms of glitter and baubles; I could only be considered sparkly in wanting to make people laugh.

Plus, my hands are a bit wrinkly, and I don’t want to draw attention to unfavorable bits. I mean, there’s a lot I like about them such as they cook beautiful meals and hold wonderful books, but they aren’t a thing of beauty in and of themselves.

But, as I was lying here reading La Regenta (which I now love by the way, thank you very much, Tom) and looking at my hands, I was reminded of how important it is to choose what it is that we want, to not be persuaded into someone else’s point of view because it’s accepted. Or, typical. Or, what everyone else does. Generally, I don’t like what everyone else does. I don’t read what everyone else does, I don’t look like everyone else does, and I certainly don’t think like everyone else does.

How long has it taken to accept my own self? To leave the shop with the girl shaking her head and not care one whit? As long as I am loving and kind, building up my fellow man, I don’t see anything wrong in claiming my own way.

In fact, I am finally learning to embrace it.

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23 thoughts on “The Hands That Hold La Regenta, Not Average, and That’s Finally Okay”

  1. But, of course. Now, I’ll grant you that it took me a good long while to get to the point you describe here, but at this point I am, and I’m quite happy — even with my 80-grit sandpaper manicures. Sparkle on, my dear — but in the way you choose.

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    1. Well, at least you stuck to the end to discover my point. 80-grit sandpaper can only attest to the grit within your spirit of courage and truth. Those hard earned manicures are the best kind, I have a few myself. And once the rough edges are tempered a bit, I can let a little sparkle through.

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  2. I adore this post. It came at a time when I’ve been struggling with something … something to do with the trajectory of my writing. Here, today, your words gave me the answer: “I was reminded of how important it is to choose what it is that we want, to not be persuaded into someone else’s point of view because it’s accepted. Or, typical.”

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! From now on when I see a bit of unexpected glitter, I will think of your words.

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    1. Beth, your comment touches me so much that you would feel my words have meaning for you. I can’t believe how long it’s taken me to accept, no, claim who I am. Too often I have been willing to step into shadows or sidelines or alter my opinion completely.

      I would love to read whatever you’re working on when you have an ARC if you’re willing to send it this way!

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    1. Your comment reminds me of a former colleague who once said to me, “I’m not reading your email, I’m just looking at the size of your font!” As a person who sees beautifully with no contacts, and less so with her prescription of one near and one far lens, I love the nook for its ability to enlarge the font. Also, I can usually find books for the nook and kindle that are not available at our library or Barnes and Noble. I guess I have come to enjoy my ereaders by default, because I will always long for the feel and scent of real paper, real bindings and hardcovers.

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  3. Good for you. Im so glad not to be young in many ways because the younger generations seem to come under huge pressure to conform. As yiu mature it feels easier to just do what you think is right.

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    1. Well, you might be surprised how mature I am, in numbers, well beyond my 30s. So I guess this post could seem rather self absorbed when it’s more of a victory cry for something I should have learned decades ago. I just don’t want to be affected by everyone else’s opinion as much as I have been my whole life. Maybe when I’m sixty I’ll have it totally under control. 🙂

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  4. I have always lived guided only by my wishes as much as I could and there is so much freedom in that. The moment I do things to please others, it all comes back biting me :)) As Madonna said, “poor is the man whose pleasures depend on the permission of another….” 🙂

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  5. after reading your post found myself whistling “My Way” made famous by Frank Sinatra but obviously written by some other rugged individualist. Just looked up and saw your last post :0

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  6. It’s this kind of attitude that I think is freeing and youthful, so it’s surprising how it comes usually with age. At least, it’s what makes me feel younger in spirit even though I am definitely getting old in body. Do you think it might be what the Psalmist is talking about when he sings about our youth being renewed?

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  7. M, I love this post! I’m feeling the same lately about claiming my own way – I swear it sometimes feels as if you are reading my mind 🙂 Thanks for sharing this! By the by, very cool nail polish!

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  8. Don’t you wish your grown up self could teach this to your younger self? Life is so much easier the more we come to allowing ourselves to be who we are.

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  9. So true. Such a co-incidence that I have on the almost exact nail color. The parlor lady didn’t try to dissuade me, but her expression spoke volumes about what she thought of my choice 😀

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  10. Love it! I actually recently found out a local businesses directory which shows top rated local businesses including top nail salons in your city, it’s named Pajix , this is their website http://www.pajix.com , I found my nail technician (which is top skilled) on there, you can read other customers reviews, check location and beauty salons prices and then book your appointments online! It’s really convenient

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