She sits Indian style on the floor in front of a full-length mirror. Before Youtube and Youtube tutorials, this is how she first learned to do her makeup. A friend trained her in eyeliner, mascara, and lip liner with the mother’s Chanel products. A certain standard was being set. For many years afterward, she would sit on the floor doing her makeup.
We learn things on the floor and stand up to do them as adults.
She is grown up and sits at a vanity with a smaller mirror bordered by strobe lights directly in front of her. All the years of laugh lines, smile lines, and worry lines are illuminated. What does she cover up? What does she admire about herself?
There are many faces we present to the public. What if the public could hear how you speak to yourself? Would you speak this same way to a small child? Stop talking down and berating.
The reflection in the mirror can show us our inner thoughts. Smile.
Before my current job position, I was doing these one-off home interior and remodeling projects as an assistant to a contractor friend of mine. The last home was 4,000 sq ft+ and occupied by a woman recently widowed. Children had grown and left, and now she was really alone for the first time in close to thirty years. I can’t imagine the transition she was embarking upon. It was articulated soon after entering her home that the master bath was off-limits. She confessed to having the majority of her sink mirror covered in post-it notes with positive affirmations; religious quotes; uplifting messages; any and all forms of reinforcement & encouragement.
I completely understood and hoped she didn’t feel embarrassed by this.
~a prizefighter in the corner of the ring getting motivation from his coach~
The purpose of a coach is to help one develop to their fullest potential. We need people in our lives that lift us up. We need techniques to lift ourselves up when a coach is not around.
I remember the moment I turned towards fitness as a lifestyle. I was in my college dorm getting ready to go to a party. I put on a spaghetti strap dress, short and blue. I turned around from the full-length mirror to see my backside, and I was mortified. I thought, ‘I shouldn’t have to wear a slip now.’ Spanx hadn’t been invented yet. And sure, most people put on weight in college. The realization I had was feeling way too young to be so out of shape. I haven’t disliked my body as I did at that moment ever since. I made it a mission to love my body.
Sometimes one moment can change so much.
In my early twenties, in the prime of my fit physique, I was in a relationship with a guy equally obsessed. Two days after he gave me a key to his apartment, I broke up with him. Up until recently, it’s the only relationship I’ve felt regret in ending. I was too immature at the time. Now that I’m older and moderately wiser, I understand what I didn’t like about him were the traits he exhibited proportionate to my own; he was reflecting back to me everything I didn’t like about myself at the time, and I couldn’t bear to see it.
People come into our lives as mirrors into ourselves, too.
Miroir, miroir, sur le mur: Que est la plus belle?
Mirror, mirror, on the wall: Who’s the fairest of them all?
Writing this post, I couldn’t help but remember an inside joke with a girlfriend in high school. Saying the line in French was a dramatized response mocking any behavior too self-flattering.