Self Portrait

Every time I stare in the mirror, I see the same face I’ve always seen:
Hazel eyes topped by dark brown brows, full lips, 
Average nose with a chicken pox scar on the bridge, 
High cheekbones- the right one with a little straight scar from a run-in with my grandmother’s coffee table.
No matter how much time passes, I feel I am peering into the same face.
I am me no matter how old I become.
I am in an instant thirty eight and twelve.
I wonder how that will feel with each passing decade.
Will I always just see me?
Or will I begin to see my age and my flaws first,
And myself last?
Long before I could imagine growing old,
I vowed to “age gracefully,” to let time fade my hair to gray and trace lines across my face.
I felt I would have earned those marks by a life lived fully.
Now that I look closer, I see that the creases around my eyes are growing deeper,
And the hair around my temples is showing more gray.
But I am not disappointed by these changes.
Each crease is a reminder of how often I smile and laugh.
Each new gray hair is an outward show of hard-earned experiential wisdom.
Each scar is a memory – my grandmother’s house, dance class as a little girl, homemade lasagna, pain I’ve overcome.
I see strength and grace and beauty and hope in every line and curve.
I see a child of God.
I am me, and I am enough.

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