Today I was forced to sit for hours contemplating my age, looks and mortality. No I wasn’t in an Accident and Emergency department, moments from death, but in the hairdressers inches from a mirror, which quite frankly was doing my face no favours. As I sat there, I spent as much time as possible looking at others with a critical eye, in an effort to make myself feel better and to avoid acknowledging my aging looks.
In truth time is passing by at an alarming pace. Mostly I am happy and grateful for all I have in my life, but today, that feckin mirror was killing me. Who was that middle aged woman looking out? Was that really me, because I didn’t feel like she looked. I began to wonder ‘What makes me, me?
I read a post by Baydreamer a couple of weeks ago in which she spoke of what reminds her of what she truly is? She in turn had been prompted to ask this question by another blogger, at “42 days younger than Kylie”, (surely that is enough credit for my inspiration?) Looking at my reflection in the mirror I asked myself that same question, “What reminds me of what I truly am?”
My first thoughts answered the question very quickly. A series of words tumbled out,
Hair gel, jeans, warm cosy socks, jumpers, hoodies, runners, wine.
Then I began to think a little more. Do these things really remind me of me? Surely they are things which belong to the reflection in the mirror, but is that… me?
So I dug a little deeper and rid myself of my outer, superficial layer, adding the words…
Fun, friendship, writing, coaching, laughing, talking, listening, drinking (yep it’s there again) and wondered did that strip away the exterior and better show the ‘real’ me?
I took a deep breath, sat up straight and stared at the face in the mirror, (note to self it is time to never, ever, leave the house without make up). Did those words capture the essence of who I was? They are certainly all things which help make up… me, but do they speak of the inner me? So I sat a little longer and thought a little deeper and this was what I came up with.
My husband, my children, my mum, my dad, family and close friends.
I couldn’t help but smile as I recalled each one, remembering the many great days I had shared with them and a myriad of moments I would never forget; the laughter and tears of a lifetime to date. Each memory leaving a tiny imprint, some of which showed on my face but most I held in my heart.
For behind the wrinkles and sunspots on that face of mature years, was… me. A wife, a mother, a daughter, a best friend. But there was something else there, buried deep inside, another word not yet spoken but very definitely in the mix, so I added one more.
The name given to the young girl who belonged to no one. The one with dreams and ambitions, hopes and fears, who fought her way through the toughest of days and won. That is the me I know, the me the mirror can’t quite see. The one I truly am, the ageless one I will always be.
So I challenge you next time you look in the mirror, to look a little closer, a little deeper and see if you can remember the you, you truly are.