Thursday, May 3, 2012

The Stranger in the Mirror

Some days, when I look in the mirror, I'm shocked. Who is this woman with her tired eyes, and, what the hell happened to her skin? I honestly go around most of the day thinking I still look like this-

Me. 1987. Kill Devil Hills, NC

Ah. Youth. We take it for granted because we think that somehow we're going to be the one to hold on to it. We look at our elders, feeling pity for their gray hair and wrinkles, so glad that it isn't us.
Then overnight, Father Time steps in and does his dance across our bodies.  Parts that used to point heavenward are now gesturing to the grave that is standing at attention. Smooth, perfect skin wrinkles and creases under his aging polka. He cha-cha's across our joints, leaving them achy and dry. Last of all, he siphons out all the energy and vigor, draining just enough that we feel like we can do something, then lose steam halfway through.
What is up with those bangs??


I miss that girl. She loved trying new things. She danced every weekend and kissed men unabashedly whenever the opportunity arose. She loved her friends and spent every minute possible with them, shopping, eating, watching movies and listening to music. She stayed up late and  laughed readily.

She wasn't completely happy, though. She longed for a husband and the joy of children.  I wish I could have told her to be patient. It would all come to her, in time. Live this life and enjoy it. Do not long for those things that will someday be yours. Love what you have now. It is beautiful and free. You'll never have it again.

As much as she is a stranger to me, I would be a stranger to her.  She swore she would never get fat and old age seemed so very far away.  I'm sure if you asked where she'd be at 45, this wouldn't be it. That's okay, she was young and naive. She couldn't know the challenges and triumphs she would experience over the years. She could never dream of the amazing man she'd get to marry or the wonderful children she would bear. And, while mistakes and trials are hard, they are the classroom of life.  She would never choose the struggles, but if she knew, like I do, she would not shirk them.

We are strangers, she and I, but if we had the chance, I think we could be friends.



*This post was written for GBE 2's prompt: The Stranger.

PS- I've finally updated my Year in Pictures. I'm such a slacker.

17 comments:

  1. That was a fun take on the "Stranger" prompt. It does feel like many lifetimes in one. :-) I enjoyed reading your post.

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    1. Thank you. I still wonder how the time went so fast.

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  2. Awesome!!! ~Jolene~

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  3. This is one of my favorites. I have often thought the same thing about telling the young me to relax because a wonderful man and children were right around the corner....I used to mope around my office at 23 telling everyone I was going to die alone, a spinster eaten by her cats.

    Something tells me that sparkle in your eye in the first picture never really went away. Call it a hunch.

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    1. hehe. Sparkle in my eye. It's probably tears produced when I walked into my teenage boys room.

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  4. I tell my children that their younger years (especially high school and college) are a preparation for "real" life - haha. Who I was back then is no one I want to be now :) I like myself so much more now.

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    1. I like my intellectual, emotional and spiritual self more now. Sure wish I could have that 21 year-old body, though.

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  5. I love the suggestion to be able to tell your younger self to wait - it will come - enjoy the moment. I've thought that a lot myself lately. Nice post and I'm happy to become a follower.

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    1. I wish someone had told me, but then, I'd probably have ignored them.
      (Thanks for following!)

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  6. I love this idea. I often think that my inside self is so much more lovable than my 18 year old self, but damn, like you, I wouldn't mind waking up looking like her, again. Though I also thought she left a lot to be desired at the time.
    It's better if we just embrace what and who we have become and I'm betting you have also become a much better person. ♥

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  7. I just love what you did with this topic! And call me crazy, but I think there's something really beautiful about faces and bodies that show a little wear.

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  8. I'm with word nerd above. The more lumps and bumps we develope the more interesting we are, each line has a story to tell ;-)

    Love this post, not sure about my younger body, but her energy would be great!

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  9. This reminds me of that Mr. High School post (you were so sweet to read them all, by the way) where I talked about the me of now and the me of then and then ended with, "But what the hell does she know? She's seventeen." Thanks for a touching read.

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