My Reflection

By Olivia Allen, February 8, 2021

Read time: 2 Mins

My Reflection Image

At the beginning

of the year I had one mirror in my room, now I have three.

It was thin and small and angled into a corner to avoid unwanted confrontation. My reflection was avoidable.

I skirted around it like a spooked animal, taking quick steps and refusing to look back, afraid of what would be looking back at me, instead shutting my eyes and shoving my fingers in my ears refusing to accept a reflection that frightened me.

I got dressed without looking, covering my body with quick, practical movements, staying warm and covered and hidden refusing to acknowledge the physical form that I had accidentally created. 

Until one day I was sat in a chair, unable to runaway or shut my eyes, confronted with the character I had been trying to ignore. Unable to escape the broken hair and red flecks round my eyes staring back at me for hours. I couldn’t escape the the reality I had been pretending didn’t exist. 

And then 2020 really happened. We were all shut up inside and I was safe from prying eyes and safe from my own unrealistic expectations. I didn’t have to try to patch up the cracks in the cartoon character I was trying to be. I dyed my hair. Said goodbye to my bleach blonde comfort blanket which had given me an identity when I felt like I had none. I swapped the calculated persona for normality and mediocrity and brown hair, something which I’d be fighting against for three years, convinced that I had to keep pouring toxic chemicals on my hair to make myself interesting and relevant. I got too caught up in her, the bleach blonde me and it was no longer working. My hair was breaking and I felt trapped by my own curated identity. 

I didn’t see anyone for months. I became familiar and indifferent to my reflection. It kept me company when I didn’t want any and once I was sure no one else was looking I stopped looking for things to pick apart, stopped trying to be something and someone to distract from feeling like nothing and no one.

My reflection didn’t scare me anymore, it lost its emotion, becoming factual and objective rather than moral . I changed but I didn’t care, I reached neutrality on my own. 

I now have three mirrors in my room. I can see myself from every angle and am never alone. 

It was exhausting trying to escape something inevitable and I got bored of trying to shake off the skin that’s stuck to me. There are far more important things to worry about than your reflection.

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