Everyone always tells me how lucky I am to look so much younger than I am. At 34, most people mistake me for being about 18. Despite those around me who insist that is a gift, it drives me crazy. Getting treated as though I am a teenager feels less like a gift and more like being stuck in a bad movie plot-line where I am trapped in the wrong body. I have to work double duty to help people see that I have things to say that are worth listening to. As a public speaker, this can be quite discouraging. Sometimes I wish I could wear a t-shirt that says "I am older than you think I am."
Despite my real age, my outward appearance and other's initial perceptions of me have proved to be a challenge to how I regard my self. With my slim body, my youthful face and with being so short, I have never seen a woman when I look in the mirror. My friends complain about their hips and I only wish I could have the curves that define a woman. Inside, I have times when I feel like a grown-up but those feelings can easily diminish if I catch a glimpse of myself in a window. The line between girl and woman is an elusive one for me.
Something happened the other day. It happened so quickly that I almost forgot about it. I don't know what made me remember this morning, but I did.
A few days ago I looked in the mirror and I saw a woman. For a fleeting moment...I looked like a woman.
I don't know if it was because I was standing up straighter or the light was just right. Maybe it's because my hair has grown longer or because I have lost weight. I don't know why, but I saw the woman in me. I loved it. She was stunning.
I hope I will see her again very soon. Maybe, someday, she will be here to stay.