i think the sum of my insecurities can be found when i look at myself in the mirror; and it’s not just skin deep either. when i look in the mirror i don’t just look at my face, but i look at a projection of what i think other people see me as. too quiet? too average? too awkward and gawky? it’s a strange feeling, and sometimes i’m just lost in the image of myself ’cause i can’t begin to identify myself on the inside with the person i see.
you would think that at 22 things would be easier, that features of your face would begin to become familiar and that you’d finally comprehend and accept what ‘you’ look like. but lately i’ve been so bemused by the person who stares back at me, like the jigsaw pieces of my subject and object just do not fall into place. and somehow self-identification becomes problematic.
do people stare at a photo of a group of people and recognise themselves because they know that’s what they look like? or is it because they recognise what others look like and, through a process of elimination, realise that they are there, standing among those people, actually a part of some sort of social act?
sometimes i’ll stare at myself in the bathroom mirror, and then someone will walk in and catch me in the act and i’d obviously feel embarrassed. but not really for the reason i think they think i’m embarrassed. i wouldn’t be embarrassed about someone catching me being narcissistic or self-absorbed. ’cause i honestly don’t think that’s what i’m doing when i stare at myself in the mirror. it’s more like i catch myself aware that i wasn’t really staring at my looks to begin with. and then i’d question myself, what am i doing when i’m staring in the mirror? and i can only relate it to the sensation of watching a stranger doing something that fascinates me.
’cause honestly that’s how i feel sometimes, like i am a stranger to myself and that i find that part of me, the exterior part, the one who doesn’t show the emotions i’m feeling but still is an extension of myself, fascinating.
sometimes i catch my reflection in passing-by-windows and i’d glance at ‘me’ staring back at me with mild curiosity, wondering what i look like, and what i think of myself performing the day-to-day drudgery. and then i get so self-conscious of things, like whether i swing my arms too much, or whether i walk too fast, or whether i walk with one foot literally in front of the other like a catwalk, or a balance beam, or just in front of itself …
but regardless of what these self-conscious acts force me to evaluate about who i am at this moment in my life, it all takes me back to that image of myself in the mirror and my constant comparison of who i am alongside the other people around me.
i wonder if they feel the same way … although i surely believe that no one looks at themselves in the mirror the same way. that even if you’re looking at your appearance or if you’re looking at what you think you are against the other people you see in your day-to-day lives, your perspective on yourself and this very personal exchange between yourself and your reflection is always a snowflake comparison against others.
just a little self-reflection (pun intended),