The thing about looking yourself in a mirror isn’t about washing your face or shaving your beard or putting on makeup.
It isn’t about spotting all those new freckles on your nose or that new pimple that is still soft and tender or making sure that hickey is hidden.
Looking yourself in the mirror isn’t about seeing your eyes red and puffed and swollen after you’ve cried to the break of dawn just because or checking the angles of your chin that you think they don’t flatter you, reimagining, redesigning, wishing.
It’s not even about those times your reflection talks back to you, mocking, smirking, blaming you while you do nothing but stand there on shaky legs and sobbing breath and scream and scream and scream on the inside and nobody hears a thing.
The thing about looking yourself in the mirror is to remind yourself that you’re there, too. That you are like everyone else. Your whole life you’ve been looking through your eyes all day long, going through the automatic motions that you’ve learned to repeat day after day, hour after hour, seeing a world in which you are the audience as much as the center, the point of reference. It can make you forget that you, too, are there.
Because the thing about looking yourself in the mirror is to remind you about your physical existence; one face among millions. Similar but not alike. Not special but oh so different in every single aspect that makes what you are, you. That no matter what, those eyes will be there with you to meet you back, red, haunted, alive.