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You’re The Only One On This Journey

In the 80’s and 90’s our town was very small which meant that our class remained together – the same 25 or so rugrats from kindergarten all the way through to grade eight. There were really no surprises come September other than the shocking new haircuts.

As an awkward introvert, that nagging pit in my stomach that craved consistency loved this. I took great comfort in knowing what to expect every year. I was established in tight friendships and in sports…but then the new kid walked in.

Oh how it frazzled my nerves.

It was in grade 6 when *Clara joined our class and she sat at our table because her last name began with a K like mine. She was different with her cute pixie cut and neon pink stained lips. None of us wore any makeup yet. It was her eyebrows though that caught my attention immediately. I could not stop staring at them.

They were so thin, as if they were drawn on by a teeny tiny toothpick dipped in deep black ink.

My brain fired off a million and one questions as our male teacher gabbed on about the rules of grade 6:

“Is she friendly? Mean? Will she like me? Will I like her? Will she take my friends away? Should I say hello first?”

You know, “normal” things people think about.

I wasn’t even processing what she was feeling – the new kid who didn’t have any friends at all. I imagine now that she felt 100 times worse than I.

But that’s how my brain has always worked. 

She never said a word during class. At lunch, she daintily opened her brown bag.  When I opened mine, I was punched with the smell of tuna. I quickly snatched out the cookies and folded the bag over to save myself from embarrassment. She looked over at me and smiled and I smiled back then awkwardly blurted:

“How do you make your eyebrows grow like that?”

My face rushed with hot red blood – I didn’t even say “HI” or “My name is” or “Welcome to our school”

Stupid. Stupid. Stupid

She smoothed her hand over her eyebrows.

“I mean, they’re awesome. I don’t do anything with mine.”

“Thanks!” she said and went on to tell me that she waxes them, “But you can pluck them too!”

Over lunch we talked more about eyebrows and bored Nathan to a T and then she told me where she came from. Her mom left her dad and opened up her very own salon in our town. They lived right above it. The next recess I introduced her to the gang.

That night I went home and took my mom’s mirror, the one that magnifies everything – even your soul – and I started ripping out hairs from the middle of my face. My eyes watered and the tears started to stream down my cheeks. I kept going till I got bored and utterly confused because there is no blueprint on how to pluck hairs. Basically, I was just torturing myself.

I smoothed my flat bangs back over my eyebrows because they weren’t even I’m sure.

I never touched them until grade 8 I believe.

Grade 10’s eyebrows were a nightmare.

Grade 10 – Why didn’t anyone stop me?

When I was in my 20’s I found *Zee and she’s been grooming my facial fur ever since. She’s the Picasso of my face.

I haven’t been feeling well since before Christmas and I ventured out by myself to see her the other day. She opened her own business not too long ago. It is a little bit of a drive but I told her that I’d go any distance for her. She’s that good and I want to support her.

Zee is from the Middle East. Her story is quite fascinating – it is heartbreaking, scary, and I am incredibly thankful that Canada is her family’s home.

She tells me stories about her old life and I see sadness.

She tells me stories about her current life and I see her eyes sparkle – new business, her son’s succeeding in school, becoming a mother in law.

She’s just a great person.

Whenever I go there I often think of *Clara and when I first started to pluck my eyebrows. I haven’t heard from her since grade school and that’s been close to 24 years. Is she married? Does she have kids? Does she still have the same eyebrows? Just kidding…

It’s amazing that two different people from different times can intertwine –  can impact one person – and can come together and create one story eh?

I’ve been thinking a lot about how we impact each other and how our stories even though we may not think they are important, actually are. People do listen, people do pay attention, people do read.

If you feel like you’re not doing anything BIG or SIGNIFICANT  in your life, I’m here to tell you you’re wrong. Sometimes the littlest things you do, can be the BIG things for people.

You have worth here. Your story is important even if you feel the things you do are mundane. Keep telling your story. There’s only one of you that’s living your journey.

xoxox

 

 

 

*I’m in here! Snag a copy (digital or print or both) of Holl & Lane at https://www.hollandlanemag.com/shop

 

 

14 Comments

  1. This is cool, and I’m not exactly sure why, but it is. Do you suppose if you were to see her now, you’d recognize her by the eyebrows?

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      OH I sure would! HAHAH! I don’t know if she would have kept the same eyebrows though. She was a very pretty girl.

  2. I love this. I find myself thinking of people from the past like that too. Good and bad. They’re all part of the story. And I love the message, that we all have a story, little or big or whatever. <3

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      Yes, we all have a story. All those little bits come together and we all make an impact on the people around us 🙂 xoxo

  3. Love this. So much. AND yes. Sometimes I think of things that I thought were super insignificant back when but the fact that they conjure up memories (both happy and sad) mean that they brought MEANING into my life.

    PS: I obsessively plucked my eyebrows in my 20s and they have never been normal since. I guess it’s a rite of passage or something? Glad you found an amazing facial fuzz person 🙂

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      I knew someone who used to do that too. Then I sent her to see my eyebrow lady. She went a few times but then stopped going. I think it is a nervous thing for her – like nail biting.
      xoxo

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      HAHA! Brow bonding!!

  4. What is it with teens and their obsession with eyebrows? Been there done that. 🙂

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      HAHA! I don’t know. I will say though that my neice has the most gorgeous eyebrows ever!

  5. Kim Kim

    There was a year in HS where I had nearly no brows. Now they just don’t grow. I had a friend that shaved hers and drew them on!

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      No she didn’t shave them?!! OH no!

  6. Love this! I often think back about some classmates and wonder where life has taken them. Love your message Kimberly. 🙂

    Didn’t we all pluck out eyebrows to the death?! Lol. My eyebrows have never been the same since high school. Lmao.

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      Girl, we all plucked our brows till we had nothing left but our pencils to fill them in and then we drew them on all crooked and junk. Heaven forbid we played sports and sweat them off. LMAO!!!

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