Thursday, October 8, 2009


When I look in the mirror, I see a little girl who always tried too hard to fit in. She wanted friends so badly that she vied for the center of attention. She was so loved but for some reason felt unloved.

When I look in the mirror, I see a young tween who was caught between a rock and a hard place: she wanted to badly to be her authentic, unique self; but at the same time she recognized the power of fitting in with the popular crowd. The result was many unsuccessful attempts at fitting in, leaving her as the butt of many jokes.

When I look in the mirror, I see a teenager who did whatever it took to break out of the "geek" circle. That meant clinging onto friends who were mean to unpopular girls. It also meant betraying her best friend from junior high. It's not one of her proudest moments.

When I look in the mirror, I see a 17-year-old who lost her virginity for all the wrong reasons. She did it so that she could fit in with her friends. She did it so that she could understand - firsthand - what all her friends were talking about. And that first time was everything it wasn't supposed to be. She wished so much that her parents would have talked to her more about sex, and how once your first time is over you can never get it back. How it's a threshold that, once crossed, cannot be crossed back over.

When I look in the mirror, I see a young woman who finally gets a chance to spread her wings on a study-abroad semester in Ireland. It was both the scariest and the most exciting time of her life. She absorbed everything and learned. And grew. And changed.

When I look in the mirror, I see a college graduate who can only say, "What now?" She doesn't have a job, she doesn't have any health insurance, but she does have some credit card debt. She looks at the future and doesn't get excited about all the possibilities the lie ahead of her. Instead, she can't seem to escape the notion of how many ways she can fail.

When I look in the mirror, I see a twenty-something gal who learned her lessons by being knocked down a few times. She got screwed out of some money, got rejected by a few boyfriends, and had more than a handful of flat tires. But she's still standing tall and a little bit smarter for it.

When I look in the mirror, I see a woman who almost gave up teaching to become a flight attendant. THAT would have been a big mistake that would have changed her whole life's outcome.

When I look in the mirror, I see a new mother who still feels like that college graduate: so unsure of the future and unable to see the joy, only the possibility of failure.

When I look in the mirror, I sometimes am shocked at what I see. Where did those lines come from? Has my nose always been this big? And why are my teeth so yellow?

I am growing older. Growing. I hope I am growing. I hope the years aren't just passing by and leaving the proof of all my stress right there on my face. I pray that as my age creeps up, I can also say that I'm changing FOR THE BETTER. I know that I feel better. I know that I have a better outlook on life. I no longer focus on possible failures but instead say, "Meh, what's the worst that can happen?"

When I look in the mirror, I have a hard time seeing any beauty. I will probably never be able to get past that. But I've gotten to the point that I don't really care anymore. My husband and my children love me for who I am, so what does it matter what the definition of "beauty" is? I'd love to have a smaller chin. A smaller nose. Straight teeth. Plumper lips. Fewer stretch marks. But, I am me. And I feel comfortable with me.

This post was part of MamaKat's Writing Workshop. Now it's your turn!


Missy said...

What a wonderful post.
I think most women have felt at least one of those scenarios once in their life.
I know that I have definitely grown as I get older. I am wiser, stronger and fatter. ;)

Emily said...

THat was great! When I look in the mirror, I often think that I love the way my mind is now, but I wish I could still have the body I did when I was 20!

Jennifer said...

Good job.

Em said...

Wow. Really. Just wow. True and honest.

A couple of weeks ago I had a mini-midlife crisis. I've been that girl waiting to bloom into a beauty - every Fall at my birthday I wait for it to come. Yet it never really has.

I've finally embraced that this is the best it's going to get - time to start really concentrating on making my spirit and soul bloom.

Wendy said...

This is a great post.

As an aside - the pictures I've seen of you on here, I think you are pretty.

In my head I still see myself at 18, how I looked then, realizing only NOW how pretty I was. Now I still think that, but when I see a picture I'm all, "who is this person with the stay-puft-marshmallow-man chin and the lines on her face? That can't possibly be me!" LOL

Aleta said...

You gave every part of your life such detail that I felt as though I was watching a movie, rather than reading a story. Beautifully written!

Kacie said...

As a kid I thought all adults were confident and secure. Quiet or outgoing, it didn't matter - they were adults, they had arrived. They dealt with life, not themselves.

Too bad I was wrong. It would have been nice to be right!

Amber Page Writes said...

Great post. I've been in soooo many of those same places. I only hope I can learn to accept myself, like you have.

Lisa@verybusymomwith4 said...

Amazing post!!! I can relate to the feelings. I have not been able to take care of myself much for last few months and have been avoiding mirrors.
Great for being so honest and real!

Mama Kat said...

So vulnerable...this had to have been tough to write! But it's so true...all that matters is that our families love us. It's what's most important. Just FEEL the love!!

Margaret aka: Fact Woman said...

Great post. I love how you wrote it from each stage of life. You were so honest and open to us. Thank you for sharing yourself.

Erin said...

What a great post, I can definitely relate!
And in the end, it's all about the love!

Foursons said...

Wow, I never would have thought to answer the prompt this way. Great job! I love seeing the progression of maturity.