I've been looking at photos of nails online. In fact, it's something I do on a regular basis — some people are into Pinterest, I look at nails. If no one interrupts me, or reminds me that I'm supposed to be doing something else, I will lose hours — possibly days — of my life to photos of nails.
During one of my most recent nail photo meditation sessions, it occurred to me that I miss those early years of my career. I'm kinda jealous of all the girls (and guys) who are just starting out in the industry today. That getting-to-know-each-other part of your career where everything is still new and amazing and not only are you just fascinated by it all but also totally stoked about every little product, implement, technique, color, doodad, and company. It's just all so new, and there's so much left to discover.
I've moved into the comfy shoe phase of my career. I still love it. I look forward to coming home to it every day... hmmm, I guess that's more like going to work to it every day? Whatever, I like going to work. I like doing nails.
But tradeshows are a heckuva lot less thrilling than they used to be. Continuing education is a heckuva lot less educational than it used to be. Trade magazines aren't as exciting as they used to be. And forget rules and regulations!
I went through that phase where I was going to change the world — at least the industry. I was outraged by people doing nails from home, mad as hell about unlicensed activity, and had plenty of energy to put into trying to rid the world of MMA and “bath-tub chemists” who mixed product brands.
PFFFFT. Twenty years later, I still have my ideas of what needs to be done in our industry and how best to accomplish it, but my opinions are based more on half a lifetime of personal observation and experience than on band-wagon riding — which sounds weird to hear myself saying, since I've never been accused of being concerned with riding any band-wagons... except when I was in the band, of course.
But it's true. Back in the day, I was much more likely to agree with "experts" on these subjects. Now, I wonder how it is that those same "experts" haven't managed to collect, process, and implement the same information that I have over the years. How does one spend 20 years in the same field and not assimilate new information in that time?
Meh — doesn't matter. And that's my point; I have mellowed. I have found my groove and I'm busy dancing in it.
It's a good place to be and you should look forward to arriving here yourself — if you haven't already, that is.
But for that brief moment, looking through the "look what I did" photos and the "has anyone tried..." posts, I couldn't help but miss those days when nails and I were first dating, when everyday was exciting and scary and our Happily Ever After was a promise that neither of us were sure would ever get here.
Ahhhhh. Young love.