My back is turned to you as I sit on the beach, the mountain cove curling to the north and south of me, as if to sweep me up in an embrace. I’m gazing down at my tanned feet and my painted toe nails encrusted with wet sand. My red dress is buffeted by the warm breeze and my thick black braid is a reassuring weight against my spine. I’m happy, young, thin, self-confident, content. I’m even vegetarian.
Unfortunately, this is not the person who gazes back at me when I look in the mirror. In fact, not one aspect of that description fits me, from the braid to the tan and painted toes. Looking back at me is someone who always comes as a bit of a shock. I don’t look like me. I never have.
It’s hard to reconcile this dichotomy, this contradiction, this, let’s face it, crashing disappointment. And I’ve felt this way my entire life. My corporeal being cannot compete with me. I never age. I wear red. I feel right.
I feel awkward about this dichotomy, but I really don’t know why. It’s not as if people are aware of it. It’s a rare person who takes the time to see who you really are. People generally make snap judgments based on outward appearances. The older I get, the more invisible I seem to become to those around me. Actually that’s a comfort, because it makes it easier for me to be who I really am.
As long as I don’t look in the mirror.
[Image Credit: elizabethhubbellstudio.com]