Each morning I stand before the mirror readying myself for the day. I am always a bit behind schedule, rushing through each process preoccupied by thoughts of my upcoming schedule. Usually I just go through the motions of my routine, but today was different. Today I stood looking at the reflection that was looking back at me.
Who is that person with the seemingly curious stare? As I peer into the reflection in the mirror, I am fascinated by both the familiarity and the vagueness I see. When did the gray hair creep in, the wrinkles, and the maturity? I carefully study the thoughtful complexity that the longevity of aging has afforded me. Did I realize how much life was there at that moment or was I caught off guard by the lack of youth? Each line has an experience, each blemish and imperfection a memory, each dimple a story, each freckle a day.
Time passes so quickly it seems that before I realized it, I was that reflection in the mirror that I no longer recognized. I become my own stranger because I didn’t take the time to remember the very essences that have made me over the course of my years. I am not speaking of only the monumental life events that I have had, but also the small everyday moments that I often barely notice at all. Some of the very things that define who I am now may have been only a brief passing breeze from my past. All the people who have influenced me, the fads and passing notions, the laughter and the tears that have sculpted my reflection are standing there now looking back at me.
It’s sometimes funny when I stop what I am doing with a random memory of something that seems out of nowhere. It is usually followed up with some comment like “wonder what the dickens made me think of that”! Some bring smiles, some a shake of my head, and yet some still give me chills. These memory flashes are my being, my material, my life.
Though I no longer see the delicate adolescence in my face, as I deliberate this reflective juncture, I celebrate the wisdom that time has afforded me. I will smile at the laugh lines, and giggle at the crow’s feet that line each expression on my face. I will remember those people and the moments that have helped mold me into the person I am. So as I joke that I didn’t get any younger, nicer or prettier, laugh with me knowing that if nothing else, I got older and with that fact hopefully wiser.
Today, I looked at my reflection in the mirror and I met me.