Wednesday, August 8, 2007

For a fleeting moment...Woman

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.


Midlife Midwife said...

"She was stunning" more ways than just one. Congrats on getting that fleeting glimpse of that wonderful woman inside of you.

Jen! said...

Sometimes I am amazed by how different our experiences have been, but more often than not I am amazed by the similarities. At 36, I still get carded and people that don't know me talk down to me (especially in nicer stores). Worst of all, when I am out with my husband, poeple think I am his daughter, and when I am out with my 18 year old step daughter, people think we are friends going out to eat or shopping. It is humiliating. And I can't tell you how much I hate it when older women tell me that "one day I'll appreciate it" or when my friends tell me they wish they could shop in the children's section for pants and shorts. Argh!

Congrats for finally seeing the true woman you are in the mirror - may your inside shine through your outside more and more every day.

Dancing Bare said...

Waytogo, Tiffany!

Each age and stage has its challenges. Now that I am approaching the so-called Golden Years, I am becoming more and more aware that the contributions of older people are discounted.

Maybe we all need a T-shirt that says: BEFORE YOU DECIDE WHO I AM, GET TO KNOW ME.