Sunday, March 31, 2013

The Mirror Project

A contractor messed up the tiles in my new place so that ended up postponing my move about a week. My landlady and her boyfriend worked on the building themselves so that I could settle in as quickly as possible. She fussed over the details but in my eyes the apartment was beautiful. I appreciated that she took so much time to make the place look good. Little things like uneven tile and spots that needed touch ups of paint didn't really bother me. I finally had a place that I could truly call my own.

Everything was pretty much set. The only thing my landlady need to get was a bathroom mirror to put over the sink. She was going to take her time and pick out a nice one for me. 

At first I was a little worried. No mirror in the bathroom - how was I supposed to put on lipstick? Fix my hair? Check for boogers? 

I dug around in my purse and found a long forgotten compact. When I opened it up I realized the glass was cracked. 

"Great" I thought. "I only have one tiny mirror and it's broken."

I placed it on the sink next to my toothbrush. I guess this will have to do for now. 

It was a little odd balancing the mirror in one hand and a toothbrush in the other. It was even trickier trying to brush my hair into a ponytail since I need two hands for that. Some days I would be rushing to get ready for work trying to put my lipstick on as smoothly as possible, but it was a little more difficult than I anticipated with the shards of broken glass. 

I got used to staring at the blank wall over the sink. I studied the texture like some topographic map. That was probably the strangest thing to adjust to. I realized that I had gone 29 years with a mirror in the bathroom. Now brushing my teeth wasn't as much fun without me making faces at myself. Funny those little things you take for granted. 

I remembered a while ago I overheard someone ask a hypothetical question to a group: What would the world be like if there were no mirrors?

Some people said very beautiful things like "We would all be reflections of each other" and "We would
see what was on the inside". 

As for me, I actually got to live this out. And what I found for myself was that I got to feel again. Most of this past year had been very rough and I hadn't had much time for myself. I had gone almost three months without a single day off work between both of my jobs. I hadn't planned on making this move but a difficult roommate made it necessary. It actually ended up being one of the best things I could have done for myself. 

I finally had a place I could call my own. I was growing into my self more as an individual. I was making more time for myself and learning how to take deep breaths. I began to live more in the moment. 

About a month went by before my landlady installed the mirror, and I was surprised by how much things didn't change. But one major thing did. I could see myself in my apartment literally for the first time. I could see how happy I had become. My physical self didn't change but I could see myself in a whole new context. I am growing into the person I was always meant to be. 

The first thing I did was make faces at myself. 

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