Today I decide to change my writing practice up a bit, because I heard, probably the kindest words anyone could say to me this afternoon. I was feeling a bit like drowning and dizzy this morning, and to be honest every final’s week I’ve had some sort of mental breakdown. Well, today is all about one of those breakdowns.

I left I-house because I did not want to stay there this morning. Before meeting up with some friends from my German history class, I spent around 1.5 hours at downtown berkeley, trying to get some work done before my lack of preparation for the review session got all busted. For whatever reasons I couldn’t concentrate, so I strolled around on internet for a bit. Finally, I gave up and went to get my nails painted (logical!)

Usually i don’t like gel on my nails, because they can be very difficult to get rid of afterwards. But I also haven’t had problems keeping the paint on my nails. But today was different, every time I touched my nails, a piece of coloring fell down. It was like the paint itself did not want to stay up on my nails. After several failed attempts, the nail painting, an activity I thought could help me to relax, became the last straw on a camel’s back. The process sort of reminded me of my semester: so delicate a balance that even one more strand could break it. I know it’s not a good idea to associate random events and grand pictures, I couldn’t help to do that.

“You don’t have to take it out.”

Just when I was busy cleaning up the mess I made, a stranger in the cafe, where I was sitting, said that to me.

Then surprisingly, she took my nail polish and started to brush one more layer on my nails. It all worked out wonderfully.

That was the kindest words anyone has said to me in weeks. I don’t know how and why sometimes random strangers and their random actions can move me to tears. I said thanks, asked my nail polish back, and started to brush. I realized how much I needed someone to say, it’s ok that you messed up, just pick up your brush and do it again. Maybe it’s because too many things are at stake, but really, humans make mistakes. It’s not that I made mistakes on purpose.

In any cases, although this strange encounter didn’t solve any real problems in my life, I was extremely grateful. I feel much better now and need to catch up on my work.

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