They say that as you grow older your eyes become smaller and smaller in proportion to your face. I wonder if as we grow old we start to see less and less of what really matters in proportion to everything else.
When I looked in the mirror at age five, all I saw was me as a whole. I would wave into the mirror and tilt my head back and forth in pure awe of my sheer existence. When I was eight, I played with my Barbie dolls, making them go on adventures in my older brother’s trucks. After all, my imagination showed me galaxies more than I could find in any reflection.
At around age ten, I started to look into the mirror as I brushed my teeth. I would stare so deep into my own eyes that I wouldn’t feel like myself anymore and instead feel like a stranger. The fact that I had a conscience inside me that I couldn’t see was terrifying and I would quickly finish brushing and run out.
Maybe that is why at twelve years old I started to notice how not-white my teeth were. I saw how my curls had transformed into a frizzy tangle that I tied back into a ponytail. My cheeks were balloons that hid my eyes when I laughed.
At thirteen I saw bushy eyebrows and dark elbows. I convinced my mother to let me come with her when she bought my clothes. The list could go on and on.
At fifteen, I realized that everyone has their insecurities. I still cried about it but I knew that the girl with the gorgeous hair wished she was better at math and the smart girl wished people did not judge her for raising her hand every time. I thought about all this and did not know if it should make me feel better or stuck.
Suddenly I was spiraling backwards to my eight year old self frightened by the stranger in the mirror. Who was I really? No amount of makeup could hide how vulnerable I was. I had this hyperactive desire to be the tomboy my father wanted me to be, the studious girl that colleges were looking to see, and the pretty girl in the hallway. It felt like I was in Grand Central Station not exactly sure which train I was looking for.
Currently, I am sitting down on the bench watching everyone bustling onto their trains busily. I am the girl whose heart melts just knowing that the movie will have a fairytale ending. I am the girl who enjoys playing video games with her brother. I am the girl who could spend the whole day reading in bed.
Right now, it is perfectly enough to be that girl. One day I will find the train to take me to my calling. One day I will look in the mirror and see everything that I have built for myself underneath the blemishes.