Face-to-Face

So here’s a kind of cool thing: I was in a restaurant, heading for the restroom, and I saw this friendly-looking gray-haired lady – plump, but healthy-looking and pretty in an open, cheerful way – and I thought, “I like her!” and I could tell she was just about to smile at me, so I smiled – and she smiled at the exact same time – and I realized I was looking in a mirror!

This was really eye-opening to me. In my own head I have this image of how I think I appear to others that… well, it doesn’t match with the confident, happy woman I saw looking back at me in the mirror. It was cool to get a chance to see how I would see myself if I was looking at me from someone else’s perspective.

And this experience was cool, too, because I can remember another time – back when I was a university student – when I saw a slender young woman looking at me from a window – and she was pretty in the traditional way, but she looked harried and preoccupied and a little cranky, and she didn’t look like someone who was going to smile back at me – and I realized I was looking at myself.

I’d rather be the gray-haired woman I saw in the mirror today than the pretty young woman I saw in the window forty years ago.