"I've been letting my mind wonder at night. My thoughts should have a curfew." Am Kidd

Friday, March 12, 2010

Mirror talk

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!

 Silly bird!

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.


  1. I know this journey! Happily, one of the beautiful pieces of an older woman is that they've faced this fire and finally learned to laugh. As girls, we hear about puberty but no one told me about the second identity crisis that comes in the 40s. At first, I thought it was terrible but, I was completely surprised that out of some bitterness and confusion with the world and this life could emerge happiness and self confidence and forgiveness and understanding - wisdom. Well, those are my thoughts at this point of the process.

    I love these photographs!


  2. Oh Alina, what a perfect post, and so poignantly true! I am through menopause now... it comes very early in my family... and have actually begun to reach a point at which I feel I earned every line and wrinkle. I think I might even be able to own them. Though I know that young face I used to have still lives inside my memories, I'm becoming a little more comfortable with the more aged version too. Loved this post. Thank you~ xxxVicki

  3. The mirror is my friend. No, really, it is. In the mirror my face is the right way round. If I could change one thing about my body it would be to have my face reversed. It looks far better in the mirror than it does in real life!
    Especially like the renaisance painting. Do you know who the artist is? xx

  4. This is quite possibly one of the most beautiful combinations of pictures and a life's journey I've ever seen Alina. Gorgeous :)

  5. Dear Alina,
    Such a lovely post..very thought provoking and deep. A woman's journey is one of many changes..ahh, but the heart remains the same.
    Thank you for these words..wise and true.

  6. Such beautiful images all throughout the post..and such heartfelt words! What a heart-warming and touching read! The beauty always shines eternally in the heart and spirit and never goes away. and that little girl is forever awake..dont ever let her sleep..she is a gift!

    I loved how you spoke about being a little girl and lookin at the mirror as a playground..I so relate.. a fascination of sorts!
    Beautiful post!


  7. I have found getting older a kind of freedom. I am relieved that I don't have to agonize about my appearance, like I did in my teens. I don't spend much time in front of the mirror now. I have come to terms with my naturally curly hair and leave it to do it's own thing. The wrinkles have appeared because for 50 years I have smiled and laughed. I am at peace with my ageing reflection.
    A lovely post which obviously resonated with other women too.

  8. what a great post and its all so true. I dont care what people think now, with pink & blue hair and I love my red lipstick, never go anywhere with out it. That is my signature.... you love it or loathe it, take what you find. My son used to be embarrassed by me, not anymore. I just laugh more. Thanks for the words. Ciao

  9. Such a wonderful post! I too have been to that mirror. Sometimes we have to love the things that are inside us that the mirror does not capture to appreciate what we see on the outside. I love all the photos with your story. Very lovely.

  10. Yes Alina, it most certainly is still there...it is such a shame that society thrusts unrealistic expectations upon us to look a certain way, but after fighting insecurities for such a long time, I like to look in the mirror now. Okay, so my body may not look the way it used to, but it birthed two amazing daughters, and my face may have a few extra lines, but they are reminders of all the wonderful times I laughed and cried with friends and family...we are all of us beautiful because we are women x

  11. Don't worry about calling me Kate. I love it! I think that your subconscious was talking because I have signed some of my posts "Kate". AND, see what I mean about the cucumber sandwich craving thing? wow.

    Love, Kate = )

  12. It's great to see all of you, my dear friends, accept and enjoy who you are and what you have become. I can certainly feel the magic everytime I visit your lovely Blogs. Let's shine on!


Albert Schweitzer said "In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit" I thank you all!