growing up is best witnessed through your reflection in someone else’s eyes.
i’m hardly one who can say she’s grown up, yet i can already see that this will always be an objective medium through which i may view myself.
through the eyes of my parents, accompanied by their bittersweet, quiet and casual inquiries of my move across the country. because this time it’s permanent.
through my cousins, who i haven’t seen in a while. who visually surveyed me the way i once did with relatives i considered to be older, carefully selecting phrases that were “appropriate” and ageless, even if not comfortable.
through strangers, who have stopped looking at and speaking to me with that hint of amusement as strangers usually do with children.
most of the time i don’t look at my reflection in their eyes close enough to notice the difference. but sometimes i react in a way i can only describe with a visual of a girl seeing herself in the mirror or in a photograph for the first time. frightened and fascinated. questioning how it is that everyone else seems to see her in the same way- in a way i don’t even get to see myself.
but the me i see in my own eyes feels as young as she ever did. comforting and continuous. familiar and still, in some ways, fascinated. i hope she never becomes an unfamiliar face.