|Photo Credit: Dextar FX via Compfight cc|
Have you ever had one of those “lucid moments”? Where you look through all the chaos and distortion of perception for one second, and see things how they really are? I had one yesterday, and it was really unsettling.
We were up North, visiting my in-laws, and I was placed on a tech-support task that had been waiting for me to come visit. (We need to visit more often.) While on hold with a tech rep talking about their balky modem, I kept walking back and forth in front of a pair of mirrors – on one wall was a mirror on top of a dresser, on the wall to its right was a full-length mirror. Now, for a very long time, I have avoided looking at full-length mirrors – I tend to subconsciously avert my gaze whenever I am around them. But something (maybe boredom, I was on hold) made me look. It was pretty startling.
Directly in front of me was the scarred face and broad shoulders that I glance at every morning when brushing my hair. To my right, in the full-length mirror, was that profile glued on top of a sagging chest, a hugely expanded waistline, and an ass that looked like a beanbag chair. I was suddenly startled – Is this really what people see when they look at me?
I have seen pictures of myself (though I try to avoid those as well), but seeing this in the moment was somehow different. I felt like someone had taken my face and put it on a bloated, decomposing zombie body from a video game. I can look at the photo of myself from our hike a few weeks ago and think “I don’t want to look like that.” Somehow, yesterday, seeing it in shifting perspective made it real to me: I do look like that. Like, all the time.
I admit that I am now dreading my weekly check-in with the scale later today. We had a LOUSY week last week, what with car accidents, and insurance adjusters, and not having enough to buy a car (then finding enough) and whatnot, and our eating reflected it. We’ll get back on that horse this week, of course, but I know the numbers aren’t going to be good for today. I am just now suddenly understanding why all the friends and loved ones who I thought were going to be surprised when I told them about gastric surgery instead nodded their heads and said: “Of course you’re going to do that.” Like they had all been waiting for me to arrive at this conclusion for quite a while. A bit sobering, being the last one to the “self-realization” party.
Avoiding Mirrors For REAL Now,