When I was a young girl I’d spend hours in front of the mirror. I’d giggle, make faces, make fog with my breath and write my name. Back in those days the mirror was a playground, a land of magic right at my fingertips in which I could see myself just as I wanted to be. I trusted these visions.
It was fun to watch the cat be startled by it’s own reflection. Silly cat!
Puberty arrived and my visits to the mirror were not fun anymore. I’d stare at my face unable to recognize it. Gone was the small button nose to be replaced by one that looked way too big. Was I too skinny? Look at the size of that pimple! I hated my hair! It was agony to have Insecurity perched on my shoulder mocking my every move. My body was also alien, and I found I did not know how to sit or what to do with my hands.
I’m not sure how or when it happened but one day I faced the mirror and was greeted by someone new. Was that really me? I smiled, winked, turned my face left and right and I was happy. Insecurity vanished as I laughed on it’s face.
Life got busy, motherhood arrived with it’s many parcels. The mirror was visited briefly in the morning and at night. A quick hello, a passing glance.
Then, as I rushed amidst scratched knees, runny noses, chorus practice, and driving lessons I'd catch a glimpse in the mirror and took notice of slight changes.
Menopause, just like puberty, is a cruel trying time. Transitions, changes, mood swings, total internal chaos. Insecurity did return and found it's place on my shoulder. It did mock me, it made me sad. I know that the woman who will emerge after menopause will not be the beautiful butterfly that followed puberty. Insecurity could feel my acceptance of these facts and it's flied away.
My visits to the mirror are now perfunctory. There is no use in lying, the magic of the mirror has been long gone. I am well aware that looks will vanish, but the essence of the girl I once was will remain, the mirror may not reflect it, but I know it's still there.