When you look in the mirror, what is reflected back to you? Do you see all that you are and all you are capable of? Do you see all you have overcome? The battles you’ve braved and the mountains you’ve climbed? Do you see how beautiful you are?
I have spent the better half of the last year focusing on everything that I have not accomplished. I have put myself down for not being strong enough to weather the storm of my emotions. I have ridiculed myself for not snagging that perfect job doing something that makes me happy. When I gaze upon my reflection I stand disappointed in what I see reflected back. The woman staring back is tired, weathered, and worn out. Eyes once full of wonder and excitement barely breathe any life. She looks sad, stagnant, a shell of the person she once was.
I don’t want to be the woman reflected back to me, I won’t be her any longer.
This morning I got up and walked into the bathroom. I turned on the light and stood at the sink. I stared at myself and wondered, ”How did I let it get this way?” Aside from looking worn out, I look sick. Sick of life, sick of unhappiness. Sick of people asking why I’m losing weight and why I’m always tired. I looked at my reflection in the hazy light of morning and decided I need to change. I want to see life in my cheeks and hope in my eyes. I no longer want to be the shell of a human that drags through life cursing myself for not doing more or cursing myself for all the things I haven’t done. I am a college graduate, dog mom, and skilled barista. I am a writer whether I want to really call myself one or not.
Someone told me the other day that it’s natural for writers to be sad. But I don’t want to be the sad writer who writes about unrequited or lost love. The writer that writes of the things I wish to do. I want to write about all the things I have done, am doing, and plan to do in the future. I need to embrace the little victories in life again and stop looking at where I am as a bad thing.
I have overcome and accomplished a lot in my twenty-three years on this planet. I need to give myself some credit here.
So how do I plan to change all this? Well, it all starts with positive affirmations in the early morning hours and the wee hours of the evening when I feel most vulnerable and the least positive about where I am.
“You come first.” “You are beautiful” “You got this.”
It all starts somewhere, and that somewhere is here.
I am going to stop pointing out all my flaws with a negative mindset. Instead, I am going to take something I seemingly don’t like about myself and make it into something I admire. Find my triumphs through all the trials of my every day. I guess a large part of this is taking myself out of the situations that add to my unhappiness. Maybe a change of scenery, or a new occupation are in the future. Or maybe even just getting out of the confines of the south side. Get to know the city, seek out the happiness that I want. Create it, pursue it, make it live. I have put a lot of thought into what I want to do with my life, well at least in the near future. And ideas are manifesting, things are going to come together, and before I know it I will look into that mirror in the early morning light and be proud of the person reflected back at me.
This isn’t a journey that will happen over night, its something that I will have to word hard towards. It will take a while to really get to the person I want, but as a friend once told me, it takes patience. Baby steps toward the person that I want to be. Big steps towards my goals. I am proud of the person I have fought so hard to be, and I often forget that. I often forget that I have weathered one hell of a storm. But fear not, slowly and steadily I will acknowledge my potential. And I will be able to smile at the mirror and know that the battle was steep, but I did it.
This life is my fire, and I shall saunter through with grace.
What matters most is how well you walk through the fire.