Warning: Introspection Ahead

Today’s prompt from Michelle at WordPress: Look in the mirror. Does the person you see match the person you feel like on the inside? How much stock do you put in appearances?

The person that I am is not reflected in the mirror. I am ageless, a quiet rebel, a sage (in my own mind). In the mirror I see the soft face of a woman in the last half (okay let’s be honest—last third) of her life. She does not like the wrinkles she sees under her eyes, but the rest of her face is holding up, except for the somewhat gentle ravages of gravity.  She looks younger than she is (and whether or not that is true—she feels younger than she is.)

As a younger woman I put more stock in my “looks” and that attitude does not fade easily or quietly—I am going kicking and screaming into an adulthood that most people reached at half my age. My hair is gray underneath a very thin layer of dyed golden brown—that is receding as we speak—I no longer have just roots of grey—I have lengths of it—yet the decision to go fully gray has not yet been made. If my hair were a lovely white there would be no hesitation—but it is mottled and not all that pretty.

Do I still care about being pretty? Yes. Am I still pretty? That is left to others to decide—but, personally I do not mind my looks.

Sometime though, when I look in the mirror, I do not see me. Me is made up of a person who loves life (most of the time), hates life (some of the time), loves her family unconditionally, enjoys her friends, loves to read, writes because it is part of her—because she has to, is compassionate to a fault (in that the problems of others sometimes take over her life), loves to learn, and wants to be taken seriously (sometimes) and appreciated for what she likes to refer to as her wit (others may refer to it in other manners but who needs to go there?)

There is a depth to all of us—one that transcends the person we see in the mirror. I like to put my best face forward (most of the time), and my best foot forward (all the time)—but I do not always achieve these things. I think we are all a work in progress—forced by the hourglass of time to take stock of our progression. I would like to celebrate my wrinkles but I am not there yet—I would like to achieve wisdom, but that changes every day—things that I once took as the gospel have been blown apart, and things that I once rejected are now something I am beginning to understand.

My hope is that we live several lifetimes and use what we have learned in this one to make the next one better. But, I also want to recognize the good things that have come out of this life—and use those discoveries now. My reflection does not necessarily replicate me. Or does it?

What do you see when you look in the mirror?

Published in: on January 22, 2014 at 3:07 pm  Comments (24)  

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24 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Great post. Boy, can I relate to the aging introspection, just about word for word. I also understand the part about things you once believed being blown apart, and things you rejected you understand. Wonderful introspection. Thanks for sharing it.

  2. Ah LouAnn – how I relate to the observations about your reflection. I certainly see what happens when gravity becomes ambivalent, understand that the adjective ‘crepey’ can be appropriately descriptive for what’s under my eyes, as opposed to material or fabric. In my mind I am both renegade cowgirl still believing that I can ride into town and hunt down the figurative bad guys that hurt my friends and the world; in my mind I am still playing at life as a child in a sandbox. I see a woman who has achieved much professionally and only started really growing when I pulled back on those reins (sorry, I’m still stuck in yesterday’s metaphor). I’m hip and I’m hokey; often surprised and often not. It is my hope that what you see in your reflection is what I see when I imagine you – a beautiful, sensitive, strong, vibrant, kick-ass smart, magnificent woman.

    • For the most part I accept aging….doesn’t mean I like it. I guess I can live with outer appearance of age, but what I fight against is the physical limitations, just not as flexible, nor do I bounce back as quickly after an injury. I’m not sure what the upside is to the effects both physical and cosmetic aging, but as you so aptly pointed out, it’s not necessarily that image in mirror we should judge ourselves by…..maybe we should just ban mirrors! Ha!

      • I am all for that–but I do need them for a few little, uh—-touchups

    • that is exactly how I see you–but you have spurs on!

      • Laughing – can’t do spurs – they’d hurt my horse. But spats and a cowboy hat – definitely!!

      • oh sorry about the spurs–okay we do not have horses in common–but I do think they are magnificent creatures

      • Laughing… they are beautiful and we have far more in common than not.

  3. I need reading glasses, therefore without reading glasses when I look in the mirror, it’s not so bad. That’s my joke I always tell, my fading eyesight (close up) is a blessing so when I see my reflection I think, hey not bad for my age and then I go out and my personality reflects that! win/win! 🙂

    • when you have confidence than you’ve got everything–when I think I look good–it makes me feel good (whether or not it is true)

  4. I am still sometimes surprised by the mirror – in my head I still look 20. Not so much in the mirror. And that decision to put a big mirror over the sink right across from the shower? Tragic!

  5. I, too, see someone much older than I feel when I look in the mirror, but I think state of mind is very important to our health and happiness, and as long as I keep thinking and feeling young it doesn’t matter what the mirror shows. By the way, this is an awesome post, and I think you are beautiful inside and out :).

    • aw shucks–I think the same about you–and I agree wholeheartedly that it is our state of mind that wins out in the end

  6. An interesting self-assessment. I agree what’s in the mirror can be a surprise and a little different from how we think of ourselves. I remember my grandmother saying something similar.

  7. This was a very interesting read about introspection through a mirror my friend. My mum is very similar to you in how she views herself and reflects.


  8. Great post, LouAnn. I think we are our own worst and best critics. I often wish that mirrors had never been invented, then we’d all be in the same boat of not knowing what we actually look like. I know I would have extra time every day to do more important stuff than fiddling with my hair and make-up. Well, maybe not THAT much extra time, but enough to make a difference. 😀

  9. How our prospective changes as time passes when we look in the mirror.
    Once upon a post – I wrote a poem related to this topic:

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