There is a woman who lives in my mirror and, sometimes, when I’m not paying attention, she will peek out. And, sometimes still, when I look back, I will catch her and I will freeze. It’s like turning and finding yourself face-to-face with a deer. You don’t want to move for fear that it will start and disappear and the beauty will leave you. So you sit there, breathing as shallowly as you can, your breath silvering out before you in the cold. That is how I felt looking at my own reflection yesterday.
The woman who looked back at me didn’t look like me. She was too…lovely, too refined, had too elegant a line to her jaw, too graceful a curve to her cheeks, and almond shape to her eyes. There was a quality about her that made me not want to breathe, for fear she would wisp away and be just a dream. She followed my movements, mirrored them, and for the longest moment to date, I kept her with me. We even smiled at each other a little. And then, I blinked and she was gone, and I saw myself through my own eyes again, as I always do. For a few seconds that felt like hours, I was breathless. Breathless with the sight of her and with the missing of her.
I looked for her again tonight but I couldn’t find her. All I could find was a woman tired and worn, desperately looking for a bit of beauty in a busy day. And I found it, just not in the mirror tonight. But you know what? I know she’s there. And I know she’s me. And, in those moments, I get to see myself differently. I don’t know just whose eyes I am seeing through then but I am grateful for them and for the reminder.