Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves.
~Henry David Thoreau
To the girl in my mirror,
Who are you, really? I used to think I knew you, but over the years, when you should have grown more familiar, you have instead become more enigmatic. There are shadows in your eyes now, and hesitation in the shape of your lips, and I am finding it harder to remember what you used to look like when everything was clear. You have changed.
Today, I find that I can no longer define you. Shall I characterize you by what you believe, when I know that you now have more questions than answers? Shall I label you by what you do, when you have come to realize that activity and movement can be a mask, a charade? Or shall I identify you by the people you love, when your relationships are marked by ambivalence and uncertainty, with you longing for and at the same time fighting against intimacy that can hurt or heal? Years ago, I would have jumped right in with a richly detailed answer to the simple request, “Describe yourself.” Now I realize that it is the most complex thing you can ask of a human being. I don’t even know where to start.
Maybe not knowing where to start is the start. Maybe, at this time in my life, I’m supposed to be a little more unsure, a little less self-assured. Maybe these questions will lead me somewhere that I need to be, somewhere closer to the real reflection of who I am. Maybe.
If that happens, I wonder if I will be able to say —
I love you,