Yesterday at work, I caught my reflection in a mirror and immediately noted how shiny my face was. (It’s a problem now but I try to smile about it and imagine my Benjamin Button face in 80 years.) An older co-worker overheard me and said, in the nicest way possible, “You don’t have to critique yourself all the time!” It was a simple, casual response, but it hit me like a train. Why do I always critique myself at every opportunity?
I’ll admit I’m one of those people who eyes their reflection in any mirror or window, but it’s not in vanity. Walking by shop windows I only notice my bad posture and less than runway worthy strut, mirrors usually bring to attention my flat hair or unflattering outfit choice. The mirror aisle at Target might as well read “Aisle 6J: Confidence Killers” with it’s awkwardly angled and shaped reflectors. Heres the thing though, it’s Target! I don’t know anyone in there, and it’s a miracle if I walk in there in more than sneakers and comfortable workout gear. I don’t expect myself to look amazing, but BAM! I catch one of my 40 reflections and am immediately engrossed in self doubt and fear of seeing someone I know.
Obviously I like to look presentable…What if the love of my life showed up in Aisle 6J?! I put in effort and that should be enough. Living in a world where we expect perfection will only breed unsatisfaction. What we need to remember is that we’re real, live human beings and not photo-shopped makeup advertisements. We need to practice less harsh unnecessary judgment not only on ourselves but others as well. We’re living and enjoying life the best we can and if my hair is flat while I’m doing it, I need to embrace a “get over it” attitude. I’m learning to take it easy and trying to not be so hard on myself – especially over things as superficial as hair and clothing. Besides, if he really is the love of my life, he won’t mind that he can see his reflection in my T-zone.