The Girl In the Mirror
This morning, I stood in from of the mirror and I reflected upon what I saw in the reflection staring back at me.
I saw a little girl who loved life. I saw a little girl with pink glasses and freckles that she spent countless hours dreaming up ways to wash away. The skinny little girl with green/brown brown eyes and thick hair saw endless excitement at the worlds wonders. I saw a little girl sitting on the couch reading the latest John Grisham novel even though they were well beyond her years. Her search for knowledge was palpable as she asked a million questions trying to understanding something new. This little girl would singing horribly with her sister, chase her brother around the yard and went frog hunting with friends at dusk. She loved her friends, and loved to talk about anything with anyone willing to listen. She believed anything she was told and she trusted everyone while seeing good in everyone. She loved her mom and thought her Dad could do no wrong. Her mom was her loving protector and her dad was her one and only superhero. She saw the world as a loving place, where the good guy always won and where any dream can come true with a little bit of hard work and determination. She believed in the seemingly impossible and for such a little person, she sure knew how to dream big!
As I stood there, reflecting upon what was, I noticed an grown women staring back at me. A slightly pudgier body, the same freckled face, the same brown hair (thank you very much hair dye) and some grown-up silver and black rimmed glasses. I wondered, how did this little innocent girl become this 31 year adult? Where have the years gone? This adult staring back is not the same person. The smile is still there, but when you look deep into her eyes, you can see that her soul is different. Life appears to have altered her or maybe just worn her down. The face looking back at me is no longer innocent. She now realizes that often the good guy does not always win, hard work does not guarantee success, superheroes do not exist, dreams cannot always be achieved and there is no way to remove freckles. She trusts in science and believes in logic and fact. Most days she is no longer the chatter box she once was, instead she is more reserved with her thoughts and emotions and tries hard to remember to think before she talks. She’s a cynic and a skeptic.
The longer I stare and the deeper I look, the glimmer in her eyes reveal that life really has not been easy for this young women. She misses her mother with every ounce of her being and desperately aches for her older sister and best friend. She misses her superhero father and longs to know her brother in a meaningful way. She has scares burned deep into her soul as she has lost so much in the last few years as she has said goodbye to her little babies and so many hopes and dreams for her future.
Yet, as I stare into the mirror I can see that this adult women still loves with her whole heart, often jumps in head first without looking both ways, and still sings horribly (something’s will never change). As she ages, it is very evident that this little girl looks a lot like her own mother – her hair, her smile, her eyes, even her complexion, and her heart of gold. It is clear that while life has altered her, it has not broken her, at least not yet. She will move mountains to help someone she loves. While she is more reluctant to let people get to close, but once she does you are in for life. She is fiercely loyal to those who treat her well. Respect, integrity and ethical convictions are critical to her very being. She believes that there is good in everyone, and so her first instinct is always to trust and hope. She still laughs with her whole heart and she still loves with every once of her being.
As I stare into the mirror for a few more seconds, it is clear that life has changed her. It is true that she is no longer as innocent and naïve as she once was. It is clear that her life has been marred by loss and death. Yet, it is also evident that through everything she has faced, she has remained true to moral convictions and she is a fighter. She fights to keep her head above water through the darkest of times and she searches for happy moments during all of it. And, no matter what comes at her next, I am confident that the women staring back at me will survive whatever she faces.
As I turn away from the mirror, to move on with my day, I have one last fleeting thought – What will tomorrow bring to her life? What will become of her?
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