Like so many women, I read the book Eat, Pray, Love, but the part I hold most dear is one many readers won’t remember: it’s about a pencil box. The main character, Liz, had been ignoring her own wants and needs for so long that walking into a shop and realizing that she wanted something as simple as a pencil box was one of many baby steps towards getting to know herself and her dreams again.
Liz had a pencil box, and I had a lip balm. I’ve been hooked on the stuff since I was 12, when I would stand in the drug store, agonizing over which flavour to buy with my allowance, but over the years, my beloved, colourful tubes took on a more utilitarian role. Because grown ups don’t obsess over fruity lip balms – they just grab one and get the job done. Until one day, just a few months shy of turning 30, I bought a pretty tube of chocolate flavoured lip balm on a whim and unknowingly, delighted my inner 12 year-old too.
A lot of us slick on lip balm without giving it a second thought, but I believe that if you have the right one, it might just have magical powers that can lift your mood. It can be a ho-hum, everyday staple at the bottom of your makeup bag, or that pretty tube on your desk can serve as a reminder that taking a little break to smooth some creamy goodness onto your lips might just be the tiny break you need. And giggling as you curl your lips up to get a sniff of that delicious Chocolate Mint Macaron flavour is just the kind of silliness that twelve-year-old you know is alive and well inside of you is craving!
Just like that cup of coffee in my favorite mug, those cute earrings that make me feel just a bit more like myself and the flowers I throw into my grocery cart on impulse at the checkout counter, my lip balm has been a small but powerful reminder, that amidst all the to-dos and ever-changing hats I wear in life, that I am still in there – the girl you can count on for a good laugh, who gets wide-eyed over flowers every single time and who doesn’t give a care if her appreciation for all things turquoise might be a little over-the-top.
My wish for my customer is simple: I hope that this small tube she impulsively treats herself to might be one of many small joys peppered throughout her day, and that it might serve as a cheerful reminder of who she really is at heart.