Dear fingernails

Dear fingernails,

I’m sure for the past 17 years you have wondered what it’s like to see over the tips of my fingers. I know you are insecure about your length, and I’m sure the face of utter shock people look at you with doesn’t help. I remember back when we were younger, the old women (who cannot seem to mind their own business) would always look at us and say: “The boys wont like you unless you grow those nails out!”.

I pretend that doesnt bother me to this day. But it does, so I cover you up now and then with fake acrylic nails. At almost every visit, the nail tech giggles and turns to their coworker to murmur a (what I assume is a negative) comment under their breath in a different language. It cant feel good to be drilled through until you’re frail, and it sure doesn’t feel good to my bank account either. Through the many attempts of growth, all have failed. And yes, we have tried bathing you in hot sauce and covering you in bandaids, but I just keep coming back to you.

It’s so frustrating.Believe it or not, you have come in relatively convenient. Your close friend, my hands, thank you greatly for letting them create art easier. You truly make a great blending tool. Remember when we took piano lessons back then? We both know that wouldn’t be possible without you. That ukelele in the corner of my room would only be a decoration if it weren’t for you. I’m not here to flatter you though, I can’t help but think you are the main cause of my innumerable sick days.

Nonetheless, dont think im placing the blame on you. I blame my lifelong friend, anxiety. Every time it is triggered, those pearly white bones in my mouth start gnawing you down until youre a throbbing pain. You’re just a coping mechanism, and not a healthy one. Anxiety is nothing new for me, and with that nothing im unaware of. With anxiety being genetic, my sister and I can both back that, since sometimes it gets the best of us.

First hand, I watched my older sister go through months of therapy and the ups and downs of mental health. As I approach the same age she was at the time, I now understand why. And no, it’s not an unusual disorder, one in three people of the ages 13-18 struggle with it (Mccarthy Anxiety in Teens is Rising: What’s Going On?).

So yeah, when we take a glance into my current situation, we can understand the reasoning for that aggressive biting. Being a senior in high school hasn’t been easy, and you have observed first hand… literally. With all the stress of applying to colleges and still adjusting to this (somewhat) normal school year, life has been piles of anxious feelings in which I tend to just take out on you.

So with that being said, this is my formal apology for the pain I have put you through these past years, but also want to address the way in many situations you have relieved me. Anxiety is a scary thing, and it is important that we find mechanisms to cope. Like I said last year, and the year before that, our New Year resolution in the year of 2022 will be to get some height on you.

Sure, you calm me down, but I have come to realize that bothering you every day is just not worth it. I may have to have a word with my constantly cracked knuckles and the beaten up insides of my cheeks soon, but we’ll save that one for another time.