It all started in the fourth grade when I believed in little things like wishing upon a star or an eyelash before blowing it away. At the time I had thick, long, beautiful eyelashes and I thought every wish you made on an eyelash would come true someday. I remember the first time I did it. I was standing in front of the full body mirror at the end of my hallway just to the left of the stairwell. I had just made a wish on an eyelash that had fallen out on its own. I then wanted to wish again, but there were no fallen eyelashes to wish upon. In that moment, my life changed forever.

I started to pull out eyelashes to make wishes on. At first, it wasn’t noticeable. But over the years, this secret of mine became more public. Somehow pulling out an eyelash to wish upon turned into not only a nervous habit, but one that had taken over my life and what was once manageable became uncontrollable. The first time it got “out of control”  was while we were working on our floor routines in gymnastics. A girl on my team approached me while we were waiting for our turn on the floor. She asked, bluntly, “Why do you pull out your eyelashes?” I was caught for the first time in my most vulnerable state.

My only reply was, “I’m not pulling them out, I just have itchy eyes.” That was the beginning of many excuses.

Fast forward two years and I am sitting in my sixth grade math class with Mrs. Jones. We all had our math books open to math box number 8. Right then and there, with everyone around, I began to pull out eyelashes instead of doing my work. Soon my book page began to fill with eyelashes instead of numbers.  At that point, I still had almost a full set of eyelashes, with some holes here and there.

Fast forward another year and I am sitting in my seventh grade English class. The desks were spread apart and I was sitting at the one directly in front of the door. We were reading our independent novels. For the third time in my life, I pulled out eyelashes in front of people and within the course of that one school year, I managed to pull out about 150 eyelashes, the average amount of eyelashes for a person to have.

Then there were none. No eyelashes. No eyebrows. Nothing left.

By the time it was summer going into freshman year, I had come up with the idea to wear fake eyelashes to cover up the missing parts. This was my way of trying to solve my problem, while also trying to cover it up. Although this “fix” didn’t work out as planned in the way that I still have this ongoing problem, it has helped me to feel more comfortable with my appearance. I no longer feel like everyone is staring at that one flaw, but instead looking at me as a whole person. Something that started as wishing upon an eyelash became something unmanageable. Now the only wishes I make are upon stars. Always wishing to break this habit.