As I meandered from sporting goods to baked goods, my therapy quietly continued. I counseled, questioned, probed and lingered in my uncertainty, more acutely aware of my private conversations with myself than the merchandise staring back at me.
I absently placed an eyebrow brush in my cart at the very moment a compelling desire to look myself in straight in my eyes overcame me.
Look at me when I’m talking to you.
With an unexplained urgency and my feet planted firmly on the commercial tile, I searched out a mirror.
The mirror aisle. Between picture frames and lamps.
I don’t know what I expected to find there. Direction? Truth? A visual connection to the person with whom I’d been confronting? Answers?
What I found was my feet, slender and feminine in my tall wedges. My red toenails and narrow heels. My small ankles and bare calves, slowly stepping toward the edge of the mirror and disappearing into the shelf behind it.
I recognized my chest, peeking out of my soft v-neck knit, brandishing it’s spring tan. Those were my shoulders, broad like my mother’s. The shoulders that, together with my neck, shares burdens with my heart.
A skirt, smooth over my thighs, made an appearance next. It flowed with my movements, casually and comfortably hiding secrets underneath. That was me beneath the brown cotton before me. Me.
And then I recognized my face. My own disheveled bangs, immediately drawing my fingers toward them, resting on my brow. My eyebrows, black and defined, framing my own lonely eyes. My pale, naked lips. My nose. My chin perched atop my neck.
How is it that each piece of the puzzle can be so familiar and pleasant, yet the parts as a whole are so confusing and strange? Those ladies’ feet, legs, shoulders, and faces were graceful and feminine. Their posture confident. Their face calm and peaceful. Yet, I am doubtful, hesitant, and tormented…with a lowercase t.
These pretty ladies, all in a row…perhaps one day I will be more like them.