Hidden Weakness

When I was little I developed the ridiculously common habit of biting nails. My brother would bit his nails so low that they looked like they were going to bleed. My mom would become furious with us and on the weekends she would dip our fingertips in hot sauce to keep us from putting them in our mouth. My brother and I learned to not only tolerate hot sauce, but also to love it. She then tried covering our tips in polish that tasted horrible. It was similar to the taste you experience when you snort nasal spray for your allergies. Needless to say, we didn’t stop biting our nails. We attend my brothers football games and til this day you can watch him  pacing and gnawing away on the sideline.

The craziest part is that I literally bite my nails off when I’m nervous. When my attention is elsewhere and my gears are turning. Like my brother when he’s on the sideline or when I’m riding in the car and sitting in downtown Nashville traffic.

Mama looked at me a couple weeks ago and said, “stop biting your nails Karissa, it’s a sign of weakness. Lebron James bites his nails too”. This made me angry, because one thing that a Sagittarius hates is being called weak. And the one thing a Kobe Bryant Fan hates is being compared to Lebron James. But I incubated on the idea for quite some time. Wondering if I was weak simply on the inability to give up such an habit or if I was weak because I was needed something to do so I developed ADD-like tendencies.

Yesterday I realized that I haven’t been biting my nails. It shocked me. I began to think what I’ve been doing differently, that I wasn’t doing a couple months. And, call me crazy, I believe its because for the first time in my life I am completely single. Possibly I am growing stronger. I’m not biting my nails. I’m not nervous, I’m not depending on a man. I’m not in the least bit thirsty. I am actually content with the fact that Its cuffing season and I am shackle free.

But if nail biting was an outlet, then I’m not sure that I’m doing anything comforting to my system. I can’t be strong all of the time.

I don’t know where my weakness is hiding.

Perhaps searching for my weakness is, in fact, my weakness.


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