The Reflection

Staring at her reflection in the mirror, she winced. The adverse adjectives which came to mind were less than flattering. Enormous, huge and gigantic were just a few. With immense difficulty, she considered and examined the strange phenomenon she was faced with every single time she passed by this mirror. Over the past 18 months she had worked hard shedding over 150 pounds and yet her reflection remained the same. Day after day, she scrutinized her image in that dreary, insipid, full length mirror, hoping to see a change and though her family and friends praised her daily for her colossal weight loss, she did not.
She did, however feel different. The knees which had hauled around those extra pounds for so many years were thankful for the relief as were her feet. Even her heart felt stronger as it beat inside of her chest, and yet she still felt as though she weighed 350 pounds. That same heart still thrashed wildly when a waitress led her to a corner booth or her best friend offered her a free ticket to the Tiger baseball game. Seating is always a relentless source of anxiety for portly people who face snickers and whispers from judgmental onlookers as they attempt to squeeze into seats designed for others who are half their size. Not having faced such an experience recently, she smiled at the fact that life had been a series of sliding easily in and out of questionable situations, and yet she continued to find herself filled with nervous apprehension at the thought of visiting new places and trying unfamiliar things. It was as though her 350 pound mind was trapped inside of her rapidly shrinking body. Plate glass windows still screamed derogatory obscenities as she strolled by. She imagined the children in the park whispering and making fun of her as she passed them, even though they appeared to be engrossed in their own jump rope skills and kickball competitions. The Big and Tall shop was still her clothing store of choice, although she now found herself drowning in the smallest sizes that the store carried. Why, even today, the shirt she wore hung from her like a sheet on a clothesline.
She walked back to the cunning mirror and stared at herself once again, when suddenly something struck like a bolt of lightning from an ominous sky. The realization occurred that her massive girth had been a safety net for all of these years, a reason to say no or to not go. In saying no, there was no risk of failure, ridicule or embarrassment. Looking intently at the 50 year old face staring back at her in the looking glass, it struck her that she was fast approaching the winter of her years and yet she found herself dizzy with promise of one last spring in her lifelong journey. There was still plenty of sunshine and adventure ahead of her. She began to feel a sense of strength within, much like a crocus pushing itself up through the April soil, struggling to feel the warmth of the sun above. She began to blossom. Heading to the junk drawer in the kitchen she grabbed a screwdriver and raced back to the hypercritical mirror and began removing the screws. Pulling the glass off of the closet door, she decided that she would not base her life on that reflection anymore. It was with great pride and satisfaction that she realized that life was not about who you saw in the mirror every day, but instead, what you felt inside your heart…and her heart was bursting with the anticipation of a brand new adventure.
Alana Marie

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