I have a theory that our mascara application is an analogy for how we live our lives. My roommate in college and I spent so much of our time in the the bathroom getting ready, and I noticed she always put her mascara on the same way. She would glide the brush against her lashes over and over, regardless of the mess left around her eye. She would then take a q-tip and remove the stray smears, just as you would wipe any vagrant polish left on the cuticle. She would spend more time fixing the mistakes than she spent applying her mascara.
I, on the other hand, would meticulously apply each brushstroke with caution, ever vigilant of a careless black smudge. My goal was to cause as little damage as possible, so I would have as little to clean up after. My roommate, however, would wantonly apply her mascara, unperturbed by the following clean up.
One day I was laying on my bed, chit chatting with her about this or that, while she was getting ready for class. And it hit me: we never deviated from our mascara regimen, and it reflected our personalities pretty perfectly. I was relatively uptight and cautious, ever terrified of getting into trouble. I thought it silly to engage in something messy that I knew was preventable, and, therefore, I was very careful with the application of my mascara.
My roommate was much more fun though, and she was willing to push boundaries, roll with whatever came her way, and deal with consequences later. So she applied mascara liberally, trying to express each lash fully, willing to clean up the black stains after. To her, they were a worthy sacrifice for the exploration and expression of every millimeter of eye lash.
I often wonder if she still puts her mascara on the same way. I can tell you that I have changed. I am much more likely to brush my lashes haphazardly, curious about today’s result. I will quickly wipe away any blackened particles, thankful I no longer put so much stock into a perfectly swept lash. I’m a human being, and there is beauty in imperfection. There is fun in discovering what today will bring.