My neighbors, who happen to be a saintly young couple, deserving of all the world’s blessings for their gracious tolerance of the pesky toddler antics that our flimsy common-wall does nothing to protect them from, are currently out of town. In their absence, I have been taking care of their saintly feline, unenthusiastic beneficiary of the clumsy adoration of said toddler.
While scooping out a generous helping of a crunchy substance that my neighbor assures me passes for cat food, I happened to notice that they have a full length mirror. I am ordinarily savvy enough to know that nothing good is likely to come from a direct encounter between myself and any mirror. Ignorance is functional. But today something told me that I was being silly and perhaps it is time to just suck it up.
And so I faced my nemesis.
I have put on a considerable amount of weight in the past year or so and it has distributed itself in the most unflattering of ways. The drastic changes in my reflection are without question a sucker punch
to my vanity but they also serve as a massive obstruction in the already windy road to reconquering my sense of self, a reminder of just how far away my “before” is.
I can’t remember feeling this ill at ease in my own skin since my tween years, struggling to adapt to the havoc that puberty wreaks on an adolescent girl. I would have expected a little more resilience by this point in my life.
For now I’m trying to take all this as a reminder of the better parts of my former life that I should fight to retrieve: the long walks, the healthy food. I am perfectly content with the knowledge that no diet will restore me to the person I was before all of this began. As I sort through all the pieces of my life, new and old, I remain hopeful that I have the power to build something functional using the better among them. But sometimes I am reminded that some of my favorites may be so damaged as to be simply unusable and I must learn to let those go. To adapt and move on.
Oh yeah, and to stay the hell away from mirrors.