I come home from school after a particularly bad day - I got a bad grade on a test, I forgot a homework assignment, or simply just had a frustrating series of events happen to me that has led me to my breaking point. I burst into my parent’s room, intending to collapse on the bed. The large standing mirror that lies between the door and the bed catches my attention. Or rather, my reflection does. I glance at the figure standing before me. My reflected double is flawed in every way possible. Although I can only see her appearance, I know she is stupid. She has no friends. She is unkind. Everything is wrong with her. Looking at her reminds me of every other bad day I have experienced. My focus blurs and a flashback of gloomy days plays through my mind. When my image comes into focus, I am still staring at my reflection. Absentmindedly, I glare at my twin and she glares back at me, only angering me further. Nothing EVER goes right for her.
I come home from school after receiving a notice that my work has been selected to be presented at school assembly next week. I am brimming with excitement; my joy is bottled inside me like a pressure cooker - I can not wait to burst out this information. I walk to the bathroom to wash my hands and I look up into the the reflective glass before me. At first I see me - dark skinned with my hair frizzed and messy, bags under my eyes. Then the image before me changes. The person staring back at me is not just me. She is successful. She is proud and accomplished. She is smarter than everyone, kinder than everyone, the most unselfish person known. She is who I aspire to be. The vision clears and I am back to normal, but this time my reflection has a wide grin on that stretches across her whole face.
It’s been a normal day of school. Hours of tedious classes - teachers droning on about miscellaneous things, and of course a pile of homework that both sits in my backpack and in my mind, acting as much of a burden as carrying a heavy stone with you everywhere you go. I turn on my phone and accidently open the camera. Before closing the app, I study my face that has been enlarged on the small screen. The bags under my eyes have deepened and are, as I seem to believe, more prominent than they have ever been before. I look closer and envision myself on the weekend, hours of a lazy, yet well rested bliss. After returning back to reality, I take one last look at my mirror image before turning off my phone. I have the fleeting thought that my face has suddenly become that of a worry lined and haggard 40 year old.
After a day of fun and excitement at school, I rush up the doorsteps and run into the house, throwing my school bag on the floor. My class had gone on a field trip to Hershey Park, and it was one of the best days ever. I walk to the kitchen and get myself a snack. I sit down in front of the reflective window door that leads to the backyard and curiously look at my reflection. The doppelganger I see in front of me is smiling. I smile back at her, and her smile grows wider. She looks like someone I want to be friends with. She looks like an extrovert - the kind of person who could just about go to anyone and talk to them. My reflected twin is likable, fun, and airy. I widen eyes in astonishment when I realize this. This is someone I don’t get to see very often.
On other days, I will look into the mirror and see someone new. Perhaps an employed woman, a struggling student, or a forlorn stranger might appear in front of my eyes. A reflection is supposed to be a perfect replica. However, rarely will I see my reflected self objectively - or as the person I really look like. What do I see when I look at my reflection? That all depends on the story of the day.