the story of my unibrow

In 7th grade, my teacher Mr. Greenspan handed out the “end-of-the-year” awards. Diligent student that I was, having devoured The Phantom Tollbooth in a week, I couldn’t wait to get mine.

And then it arrived.

“Alison, for you I chose the Furrowed Brow Award.”


Here I thought I was going to be showered with honors about how much extra credit I did for my homework all year, and instead I got an award that triggered my most insecure body part.

My unibrow.

I’m Italian-American, Sicilian at that, so I have a genetic predisposition that many of us descendants from the boat also have:

A proclivity for one long, dark eyebrow that looks something like Bert from Sesame Street.

And here I was in 7th grade, Mr. Greenspan having no idea just how much a young, budding teenage girl cares about what other people think.

I’m pretty sure I zoned out during his description of this illustrious award, wondering if I got it because he thought I might need reading glasses.

But as I dipped in and out of his words, I also heard him say things like, “leads with curiosity” and “reads with interest,” and it all suddenly started to sound a little less soul-crushing.

He was talking about curiosity and wonder!

Not my unibrow!

It turns out that award ended up meaning more to me than some of the varsity soccer trophies I got in later years, or the gymnastics ribbons that I hung ever so proudly on my bulletin board.

That award meant I was interested in people, things, books, words, cultures and foreign lands.

Now you’re talking.

I’ve tweezed since then (I have two eyebrows now!). And as my life rolls along, I’ve learned that this kind of curiosity is the healthiest lens with which to view life.

I’m convinced that a sense of playful wonder offers the viewpoint that invites you to keep moving forward with more freedom and less worry.

It’s like tapping into that innocence you had before we were told we needed to know everything.

It’s too easy to get caught up in all that nonsense life can hurl at you.

An overloaded inbox at work.
A bucket of worries about the kids.
Bills that pile up.

Day after day, more of the same, wondering all of the time what it all really means.

And so, when that happens to you, I offer you this.

Embrace your own furrowed brow. Furrow it right now!

Look at each thing that feels a little too heavy and instead see it with curiosity and wonder.

Ask questions, don’t judge. Invite possibilities, don’t limit them.

There is not a single person on the planet who knows the outcome ahead, not one. Not even the bee-atch that acts like she does. She doesn’t.

So when you’re feeling stuck, or in a malaise, or stressed out about how things could or should be…try to embrace your own sense of curiosity and wonder.

You can also embrace a fine looking unibrow, if you’re inclined to grow one.

But I’ll let you borrow my tweezers if you change your mind.

With fierce love,

Share this Entry