I Was Her

July 18, 2009

My bedroom mirror really needed a cleaning, but I didn’t notice that. I also didn’t notice my clock flashing obnoxiously, warning me that I needed to hurry up and head to school, which started in exactly seventeen minutes. I didn’t notice the fact that my room was positively trashed with clothes and CD’s and magazines, or the fact that I had neglected to put gas in my car over the weekend and probably would barely make it to school. No, I didn’t notice any of that. All I could see was the stranger in the mirror. Someone who shared my face, but nothing else.

I tilted my head slightly like a confused child. The mirror figure did the same. Her hair fell in front of her eyes, as did mine. When did I start parting my hair this way again? When did I go from jet black and curly to stick straight with bold, blonde streaks? When did the eyes behind the hair start wearing such thick, ominous liner?

A hand reached up to touch the face of the stranger- my hand. When did I start biting my nails? What was with the silver bracelet sitting limply on my wrist? Where did I get that again? How long has it been since I’ve taken it off?

Cold metal touched my cheek and I jumped. Car keys? Why am I holding car keys? I can’t possibly be DRIVING yet, can I…?

Suddenly, I became very aware of all my senses, everything I do involuntarily in order keep me alive. My tongue felt heavy in my mouth. The pressure on me feet felt substantially greater. Even my blinking felt foreign, too rehearsed, and in a strange rhythm. As I tried to steady my breathing, I struggled to understand why I was wearing jeans so skinny it made it hard to inhale. And why was my T-shirt so irritatingly graphic, bright and confusing. Just because the shirt portrayed the name of a band on it didn’t mean it needed all this jumbled randomness. Was that the point? The more exaggerated the shirt, the better the band? Through the mirror I could see more shirts similar this one scattered around the room. When did this bizarre girl all of a sudden become a poster board for bands with too long of names with members wearing too tight of pants?

The features were all the same- but everything else had changed. Underneath it all, was this girl in the mirror really me? Did she still love pancakes with chocolate syrup, did she still sing, horribly loud and out of key, while she was in the shower. Where were the similarities? Where was CHELSEA?
The twinkle of the mirror girl’s hazel eyes answered my question. I was still in there somewhere. Masked up a little, maybe, in an attempt to either blend in with the crowd or stand out above it. The mirror girl had an air of mystery so strong I had to smile in admiration. She still had the same smile. I still had the same smile- even if now I wanted to accent it with a lip ring. Her magical eyes were right, I was her. She was me. Maybe she never used to be, but isn’t that what growing up is all about? Finding yourself, changing and transforming until you’re finally comfortable in your own skin. Not fitting in, not sticking out, but just being. Just being you.

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