At Least I'm Good at Failing!
  • Maggie Franklin
  • November 13, 2009

So, thanks to several cancellations earlier this week, my entire day on Thursday opened up. Seriously, I haven't had a day that sad in months! People, get your nails done! This nail lady needs new shoes! No really, I do. I have absolutely no casual black shoes!

 

My point was, however, that this left yesterday with my day beginning at noon with one client and ending with my last client scheduled at 6:30. And nothing in between. Nothing. Just 5 1/2 hours of nothing.

 

Normally I would try like mad to fill that time with something profitable, or go shopping. Which, I realize, is the exact opposite of profitable, but what's a girl to do? I need new shoes! But no. I decided to take it as a sign that I needed to get off my butt and finish my entry for this weekend's flat nail art competition — which I have already registered for.

 

So that's what I did. I sat at my desk for hours yesterday drinking coffee and painting.

 

Let it be known that no one in my personal world is impressed with the chosen theme of this nail art competition. Nevertheless, even though it took me two months to get settled into my vision and then another two weeks to get my vision out of my head and onto those tips in a manner that didn't leave me crying at how bad I suck as a nail artist (yeah, I know, just a few weeks ago I was bragging about being able to paint, I'm an artist; we're moody like that), I now have 10 nail tips covered with "instrument" themed nail art that I would ordinarily be pretty proud of — if it was for a client. Knowing that it will be turned in to be judged in a competition makes me look at it a little more suspiciously ... and worry that it might suck.

 

But as I was throwing one of many tantrums over the way things were coming out yesterday because — you know what? — I don't really deal with shading and lighting in my everyday nail art, it came to mind that maybe now I understand why the registration fees for competitions is so freakin’ expensive! It's just enough money to keep me focused. Several times during the day I considered just throwing in the towel. "*#!& it! I'll just eat the loss and avoid certain humiliation and just not turn anything in." But then the little voice in my head that represents the girl who is not out shoe-shopping says, "The HELL YOU WILL! That was $85! I don't care if you let the dogs do this nail art! You're turning SOMETHING in!"

 

Which made me think back to all that homework I never did — again. I didn't do a lot of homework, but I really didn't turn in projects. Like that diorama we were supposed to do in 5th grade. The problem is, I would get really inspired. I'd have this awesome image in my head of what I wanted to do. Then it would soon become apparent that I did not have the skills, and often the resources, to bring my vision to fruition. This would result in a big box full of FAIL that I was terribly embarrassed to turn in. I'd rather just take the "F." And so began a lifelong career of succeeding at failure. It's a control thing. I'd rather forfeit than make a less than perfect attempt. Apparently it's a common trait of "gifted" children — but that's another story. This story is about nail art.

 

This little confession of the inner workings of my ego combined with the fact that I just received my score sheets from the recent "cyber" competition (the photo is last year’s Strut winner) really had me on the verge of chucking it all and crawling into a hole yesterday. Seriously, one of the judges from the last competition gave me ones and twos for my 3-D nail art entry. ONES AND TWOS! Have you ever read the scoring system? One represents "unacceptable" work. That's like saying "This was so awful you shouldn't have even bothered turning it in." See how that reinforces my "I suck at this" fears? ONE!

 

I am in no way suggesting that that entry had any business winning. At all. It was utter crap. Really. And it really missed the mark in the way of representing my original vision. But really? One? It was not one bad.

 

Nevertheless, I have already put down my $85 and my entry is almost done and it is getting turned in and presented for the judges’ scrutiny. Even if it turns out to be the entry most full of suck. I really think watching “Top Chef” is making me a better nail competitor.

 

Keywords:   competitions  

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