It’s hard to look at myself in the mirror. I’m not 20, or 30… 40 is a distant memory and now I’m in my 50s. I don’t mind the passing of the years: I’ve worked hard, lived an honorable life, and have nothing to fear in the Great Beyond. So, I’m good.
Ok, then why is it hard to look in the mirror? Now I know what my grandmother was talking about when she said, “Who is that person looking at me from the mirror? I’m still 16.”
Lately, I find strange scars showing up. The chicken pox hoopla over my left eyebrow that my mother freaked out over—you will be scarred for life, Virginia—now shows up in the odd late afternoon light when I’m in a certain bathroom in the house, and I rub my finger over it and think, “Hey, that’s not so bad…” There is another scar on my left hand that has recently come to light that I have no recollection of acquiring. Not too bad, just slightly visible, but I can’t for the life of me remember how it happened. The jagged scar on my left middle finger came from pulling a branch out of a gutter, and the one inch scar on my right forearm is from reaching into a hydrangea bush on my grandfather’s property to pull out dead leaves. In other words, I know where most of my NJ tribal markings come from. But not all of them.
My face is no different, although, scars fortunately are not part of the narrative. Now, my face is showing the lines of sorrow, laughter, and lack of using the products so readily available to stave off the very marks that are more and more apparent. Does this make me sad? No. I’ve earned every line, every chicken pox mark, every expression of joy and sorrow. Would I change anything? Hell yes. I could have done with a little more happiness and a little less on the chicken pox side of the world.