Monday, January 21, 2013

Mirror, Mirror...

Perhaps one day I will finally make peace with what I see in you!

One of my best friends was digging through storage boxes last week and found some old pictures of herself from 20 years or so ago, which was long before I met her.  She showed them to me while we were waiting for our respective kids after school last the pictures she was in a bikini on the beach and looked absolutely amazing.  She would be the first to tell you that she's a bit heavier than would be ideal now (I'm right there with her in that), but as far as I'm concerned she is beautiful inside and out just as she is at this moment.  Period.

Anyway, we were talking about how different we look now from how we used to be.  Just for giggles, when I got home that night, I went to my old photo albums and found some pictures of myself at about the same age she'd been in her bikini pictures.  I hadn't looked at those albums in at least fifteen years, maybe more, and what I saw there stopped me dead in my tracks.  Please don't take this the wrong way, because I don't mean to sound as egotistical as this will doubtless come out, but I was very pretty back then, and in fine shape.  And I had absolutely NO idea of it at the time.  I mean none.

I was a very tubby kid.  Not hugely obese by any means, but heavy enough for long enough to have internalized it as part of who I was.  In high school, I started playing basketball and developed an eating disorder more or less simultaneously, and went way too far in the other direction as a result.  By the time these pictures were taken, things had been back on track for a while and I was healthy again, but clearly what I was seeing in the mirror at this stage in my life was still not what was actually there.   I wonder if my life would have turned out differently if I'd had the confidence that could have gone with the looks I didn't know I had!

I'm very happy where I am now, fortunately, and wouldn't change any of the decisions that got me here if I could.  So it all turned out OK in the end.

But.  This whole train of thought reminded me that whatever I see in the mirror now, it's probably going to be the best I'll ever look again (the aging process being what it is and all.)  So I should probably learn to cut myself some slack!    

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