You look in the mirror day after day and you see the same reflection. You can not see the little changes daily that have taken place over the course of time, but after a few years as you look back on pictures you can clearly see you have changed. Maybe in those pictures your eyes were a little brighter, and your smile was a little wider, and maybe your waist was a little smaller. How did that happen?? Did you just wake up one day looking older and tired and perhaps (in my case) a little larger?
I can always remember being identified as someone else's something. I was Holli's daughter, or so and so's girlfriend. I was Matthew ( or Xavier or Trinity)'s mom and Scott's wife. But who am I really? What happened to that little girl with the messy ponytail? Somewhere in the sands of time I lost a piece of me and I can't hardly recognize my reflection anymore. Was it heartache? Betrayal? Tragedy? Grief? Apathy? How and when did I change so much and not just in appearance? I am on a crash course with myself trying to figure that out. Why is this so important to me? I have no idea , but it is. Maybe it is part of my healing process -I don't know.
As a little girl I had dreams... oh, so many dreams! I had a personality. I had innocence. I had goals and desires. Looking at those pictures of me as a little girl and looking in the mirror at the woman I am today, I can't help but wonder just who is that staring back at me?
I have given up my old goals and desires and replaced them with other ones. Not all of them were necessarily mine, but thats ok. I have abandoned my own dreams to fulfill the dreams of another and thats ok too. Sure, at times there is a twinge of pain thinking about my own longings, but lack of it isn't what defines me as a person. There's more to me than what can be seen in the mirror and the sad truth is nobody really knows who that is...including myself. I have a handful of friends that know of the Traci of today who also knew the Traci of yesterday and know I am not the same person. I have a few friends who know me today that have no clue who I was before. Then there are those who knew me as I was and can't see past that to know who I am today.
Not every person's struggles are the same. It is foolish to think I can know how someone else is feeling based on their circumstances, even if our lives parallel similarities. Please don't do that to me either. Forget walking a mile in my shoes... you haven't even taken a step in mine. Ya wanna know why? Because they are my shoes! My circumstances and my past and my story. It's mine to deal with and mine to figure out and nobody on the planet has the same shoes as me. Just like nobody on the planet has the same shoes as you.
The stubborn, strong-willed, tenacious, bare-footed feisty wild child is still there, but better controlled (for the most part:)) The happy, playful, passionate, care-free flower child still smiles back at me from the pictures and its 'she' I miss the most.