The woman in the mirror
by Meritxell Riera Prims
With the upcoming of social networks I developed some kind of addiction and I embarked in a sort of ego-trip. I guess I seeked approval and simply some kind of love. Nothing new. Or maybe I’m being too harsh on myself. I posted lots of self portraits.
But recently I took a long break from virtuality because I needed a period of introspection. From then on I became literally invisible. Not only did I seclude myself, but I also stopped posting pictures of my face on Facebook or something of the sort, and -and this is what will sound more bizarre to you- I even stopped looking at myself in the mirror. I’ve always liked to take care of my appearance. Not that there’s anything wrong with it. I think it’s a good sign of creativity unless you become too obsessive. And since I was going through this phase of introspection, I wanted to avoid being too superficial or whimsical.
Mirrors are my worst enemies. I’m not really sure about what I see when I see that face I’ve been watching all my life with various changes. I can’t see myself as someone distant, detach myself from my background, from that past that always seems to step on my heels. And I either worship myself in a narcissistic way, striking poses, picturing myself as a glamorous actress adored by everyone -and most specially men-, or I pass by, looking sideways at my reflection and thinking how pathetic I actually am. “Who the fuck do you actually think you are? You think you’re cool? You’re a pathetic nobody who has accomplished nothing in life because you’d rather daydream than work to reach whatsoever aims you may have -mostly unrealistic.”
Unfortunately, though cruel, all this is also quite true. I still can’t help thinking all that as I post this selfie. I look at my picture and that woman is a stranger. I can’t even stare at it for too long. And I do need to face myself. Look at my other self straight in the eye and say something like “Hey, I know you, and I like you. You can be a pain in the ass sometimes, but a good companion as well, when you treat me kindly. You’re intelligent, not bad looking, you’re sensitive, you try to be honest, you can be brave when panic or shame don’t get a hold on you.”
But I can’t say to myself “You’re a good person. Or at least average good.” (God, I hate average…).
And I don’t want to depend on anybody else to get that positive reinforcement. Funny, ’cause on the other hand compliments make me feel guilty sometimes, because I secretly crave them but I don’t want to take them too seriously. Otherwise I end up comparing myself to others, becoming envious or jealous.
So, what do you guys usually say to that person in the mirror?