When I look in the mirror I have an expectation about what I will see. My reflection is familiar to me; we’ve seen each other every day. We’ve grown up together. We brush our teeth together; we put on make up together, fix our hair together, and maybe even sneak a glance at each other while walking by a window.
We know each other. My reflection and I are intimately familiar with the way a tear rolls down our check when we cry. Or how laughter highlights those wrinkles around our eyes. We have seen each other at our best and our worst.
Several months ago I hatched a plan to stop coloring my hair. There is no major life-altering plan in the works; I was just tired of coloring my hair. Step one was to stop coloring. Step two was to grow my hair out. Step three was to cut it short. On my first go at cutting my hair I chickened out. My plan was to go super short and get rid of all my red. Instead I went short and kept a whole bunch of red. With the support of my husband Jim, I completed step three and it was off with the red.
Yesterday was the first time I looked in the mirror and saw a stranger. I did not recognize myself. I stared in the mirror looking for the person I used to be.
As I stared I studied the new person before me. Her hair is short but she looks strong. Her face looks friendly and familiar. Her eyes are brown and she has wrinkles around them. Maybe she laughs a lot.
Over time I am sure we will get to know each other. We will gain that comfort and familiarity that I had with my old reflection. Together we will laugh, we will cry, we will live, and we will love.