I don't often look in the mirror. Mirrors are not kind to people like me, people who don't see themselves truly but rather through ugly filters, through lenses smirched with years of grime, accumulated unhappiness and unfortunate experience.
I don't look in the mirror when I comb my hair, when I brush my teeth, when I apply lip balm.
I don't like what I see.
I see wrinkles and hairs that escaped the scrunchie and loose skin from weight loss and spots and age. I see thin lips not suitable for kissing and dark circles under dull eyes. If my gaze strays to my body, I see sagging, flab, loose and wrinkly skin, things that show weight loss but make for horrors under my clothes.
I was never young.
Rare are the occasions I gaze intentionally into a reflective surface.
Rarer still are the times when I don't wince at what I see, or perhaps even think it's not so bad.
Sometimes there's a brightness to my eyes. Sometimes I think my cheekbones are pretty good. My lips will never be accused of being kissable, certainly never pouty or plump, but when I smile I have a dimple...didn't people used to like dimples?..and if the crinkles around my eyes are a bit deep, well...at least I can finally say I have smile lines. Also, my ears don't stick out, and I seem to recall that not-sticking-out ears are a plus. Also, also, they are pretty evenly hung on my head, so there's that.
Tonight I was laughing at my daughter's antics in the tub and happened to catch my reflection in the bathroom mirror. I stopped and looked. It was...uncomfortable...
I wonder if I will ever see myself as others do, hopefully with kinder eyes and gentler thoughts...