I knew everything about my changing body as a child. Curiously, I watched change take form within me with every deepening of my eyes, plumpness of my lips, and the spirit beaming through my eyes. There wasn’t a freckle I didn’t know about; no stone left unturned. The one thing the mirror couldn’t answer for me was, who is Alisa?
As I grew from a child into a teenager, facial expressions were mirrored back to me in my bathroom. Posing, I knew how to pout my lips just enough to where it didn’t look too contrived and I knew how to put on my eyeliner to make my hazel green eyes pop. I watched myself like a character, but I was only an actress.
Once I graduated from a teenager into a young woman, I didn’t have a big mirror and I couldn’t afford to stand around looking into the measly makeup mirror I acquired along the way. It wasn’t until life batted me around a bit and I returned home to the mirror of my childhood that I stood trying to answer the question—who am I? I could no longer see the poses I had once thought so highly of, and my eyes looked sad and without wonder like they did when I was a child.
I started looking into other mirrors: writing, photography, and making collages. People marveled at my words. They gazed with appreciation at my photograph. Some people smiled at the collages and kept them near and dear. I didn’t see myself in any of it because it came so easily to me that I felt guilty for even taking credit. Something so simple and people could see who I was, but I couldn’t.
I boozed, I schmoozed, and I moved up the ladder. There were accolades and there were loved ones that left the world. My heart had loved foolishly and was broken intelligently. People hurt me and I hurt people, but there were those people that stuck by me through all this as I had with them. I had made poor decisions until I didn’t make them anymore. My mind had been back and forth between the dark side of the moon and the brightest sky in the universe. I’d needed help at times, and I’d helped sometimes. I’d had a lot of money and lost it all. Life happened all around, hard knocks, and I avoided that mirror.
Tonight, I looked in my mirror and I moved right through the expressions and welcomed my imperfections. Life had written my face and it changes day-to-day, my old soul just smiles to say ‘age happens’ and I’ll wax those brows tomorrow.