I had a conversation with a very close and dear to my heart friend this morning. He is going through a period of self-discovery and I am fortunate enough that he chooses to share his journey with me. We’ve been friends for just a short time, in the grand scheme of time; only a year. But I have learned so many valuable lessons from him, it’s not difficult to see why our paths are running side by side right now. I am very humbled that he shares his inner darkest demons with me. It breaks my heart to watch him struggle as he grows and learns more about the strength he has. He doesn’t see it yet, but I am confident that he will. I have told him often when he feels like it is just too hard, that I understand what he is going through and that I know he will see the light at the end of the tunnel. I tell him this with confidence because he is me a number of years ago.
Just the fact that he has started this journey is a testament to his strength. Just the fact that he is willing to take a peek in the mirror and realize that some things have to change in order for him to move forward is the reason I know he will succeed. It takes great courage and personal strength to first realize that things could be better, then to actually take those first steps in finding solutions. He tells me that I am that source of strength for him. That if I hadn’t prodded a little he would never have started what he has started. I call bullshit. I call bullshit on all of this because it is him that is doing what needs to be done. He could have stopped talking to me if he didn’t like my message. He could not have responded if he didn’t hear some truth in my words. He could have walked away if he didn’t think he was worth it. So, yes. I call bullshit on his statements that this was because I saw more than what he sees in himself.
So what do you see when you look in the mirror? Do you see what others see? Do you see what others don’t see?
My friend and I have had this conversation many many times. He will say something about my strength or my conviction and I always answer back with “Well that’s just me” which pisses him off to no end. So today… I write about what I see in the mirror when I gaze at it.
I see a woman who has had the strength to dig deeper than the lines etched on her face. Each line that I see on this face is one that I have earned! I have laugh lines. I have worry lines. I have lines on my forehead. Lines around my eyes. Lines running from my cheeks to my mouth. I have a ton of lines. They are finely etched and they each have a story to share. They show others that I laugh a lot. That my forehead wrinkles up when I worry about a friend or my children. They show others that I am a caring fun loving woman. My eyes squint when I smile. The lines there are very noticeable and I wouldn’t change that for anything. I have a big huge smile always at the ready. Ready for a funny story. Ready for a friend in need. Ready for my kids doing something wild and crazy. Ready for when I am about to tease someone in a fun loving manner.
Keeping with my eyes. They are brown in color and gentle in nature but can turn firm when it is called for. I firmly believe that eyes are our most important feature, for they tell the story that our words never will. My eyes are very soulful. They sparkle when I smile (yes, I tried this in the mirror after being told this a number of times). They light up like fireworks against a dark sky when I am happy. They are soft when I am listening to the worries of someone I care about. They have been known to cry a few tears when my heart is heavy. They give away my mood instantly when you look into them. They truly are the windows to my soul.
I also see a confident woman when I look in the mirror. One that has had her share of heartbreak and disappointment. One that has known what rock bottom looks and feels like but refused to stay there. One that is determined enough to know that she deserves better and is not afraid to go looking for it. One that is willing to say I don’t know about that but I am willing to learn. A woman that is not going to let anything or anyone stand in her way to reach her goals. A woman that is experienced in life. A woman that will turn the most boring mundane tasks into a funhouse. I see a woman that refuses to act her age most times.
One that will laugh too loud.
Smile to big.
Say things too loudly.
Hug to long.
A woman that will love the hell outta someone enough to tell them to get their head out of their ass. One that will hold your hand when it needs holding and kick your ass when it needs kicking. A woman that is not afraid to venture out and try new things just for the hell of it. A woman that will raise her hand and say “Oh, I don’t think so” with an attitude to match.
This woman I see looking back at me is one that has a hard outer shell but a soft fluffy center. She will cheer for the underdog. Tell thugs at the park to fuck off and leave others alone. She will go to bat for what she believes in and those that are worth believing in. She will let you lean when you need to lean and will ask to lean into you when she needs to. She will hold her heart broken teenager all night if need be and be the one to yell “hit them harder” when cheering her kids on at the rugby game.
She is not afraid to take time for herself. She is not afraid to say enough is enough. She is not afraid to tell her kids, friends, and loved ones that she does indeed love them. She is not afraid to ask the stupid questions. She is not afraid to go looking for the answers. She is not afraid to be on her own. She is not afraid to love. She is not afraid to cry at a silly commercial. She is not afraid to tell it like it is. She is not afraid of your opinion.
This woman I see looking back at me in the mirror is actually pretty awesome and I am so glad I am taking the time and effort in getting to know her.
So… what do you see when you look in the mirror?