I had been watching her for years. I was sure she had a secret I would never know. I
was incredibly jealous of her when I was younger. People seemed to flock around
her. All the kids liked her, and she wore all the right clothes. Her taste was impeccable and I admired her for that. She was bright, outgoing, pretty, funny, and all the boys liked her. She was real tough in a crisis too. No one would pick on her cause they knew she would not take their crap.
Sadly I always had to admire her from afar. I was too afraid to approach her, too afraid she would make fun of me like the other kids did. She was my idol, my mentor, someone I pictured as the perfect friend and I didn't want to spoil that image by getting to know her. As she grew, so did I, she always knew the right things to say, she was funny, delightful, charming, pretty. I began to become aware that I wasn't really jealous of her anymore. I was full of admiration for her, every time I saw her I would think to myself, "I wish I could be more like her." She just seemed to have it all. I am not talking about the outside things like a nice house or a nice car, that stuff never really meant much to me anyway. I am talking about her charm, her smile, her choice of friends, her family, her values, the way she looked like she had it together. She always seemed calm in a storm, always seemed to be awaiting people with a warm word of encouragement. Yes, I had let myself get a little closer to her. I was not so afraid I would damage my feelings about her as the years rolled on, as I let myself be a little more human, I let her become a little more human too.
She always knew what to say, what was important, had a sense of style I loved, a sense of humor I appreciated, and could not help myself, I had to get to know her. She was beautiful, yet humble, and her smile.. irresistable, when she smiled everyone around her smiled. She knew how to have fun too, she was adventurous, yet not dangerous, real wholesome in her outlook of life, seemed to have a dedication to balance, and I really admired her.
Then one day I looked in the mirror. I saw her, I was turning into her. I was always her and did not know it. Then finally I reconized it. You see she was not one person, she was many women, all the women in my life I had admired. All the women I had wanted to emulate. There was a reason for this, I was her, I was everything I found charming in others. I just never looked in the mirror, I never realized she was me. Even after I started seeing her in the mirror it was a long time before I reconized her on a daily basis. I had to practice to see her, I had to validate her, I had to tell her it was o.k., and that I loved her just the way she was. That she had nothing to prove to me, that I would not shame her if she was not perfect, that she could make mistakes, and I would admire her essence just the same. That I was there for her to trust and I wanted to become her friend. A real friend, a close friend, someone that was always there for her no matter what her troubles were or what she was going through. I wanted us to celebrate life together. The more I validated her the more she became my best friend, and the less she became other women in my life. They became the shadows of what she now was..me. Her strengths, her weaknesses, her joy, her sorrow, her love, her
hate, her grief, her everything became my everything until I could look in the mirror, and no longer had to distiguish her from me we were one in the same.
Then she told me her secret..We always were.
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Girl At The Mirror by: Norman Rockwell (1894-1978)