You look in the mirror because it is the morning, and that’s what you have always done in the morning. That’s how it works. Your life is just a constant pattern, a routine, and you don’t change it because there doesn’t seem to be any real reason to. Wake up, roll out of bed, take a shower, look in the mirror. One, two, three, four. A constant loop. And that’s fine, because it’s normal, and somehow normal means fine.

Why your looking turns into staring and your staring turns into reflecting you can’t quite say; maybe you are extra groggy this morning and can’t seem to pull away your gaze, or perhaps you seem to look a bit different for some reason and you want to investigate further, and that’s when your mind goes crazy. Exactly the reason why is hard to place. I certainly couldn’t tell you.

But I think why you end up looking in the mirror for a longer time this morning doesn’t matter. Because you do, and that’s just that. Perhaps what is more important is what you see.

Temporarily removed

Now I can’t exactly tell you what you see, looking in this mirror, because that all depends on your appearance, and I don’t quite know what you look like. Maybe you are short, maybe tall. Blond or brunet. This or that. When I looked it was the reflection of a brown haired, fair-skinned girl of average height. Me, apparently. But for you it is different. You see a different somebody staring back at you.

And then you start searching; searching for a sign, a mark, anything that will help you identify who this person is. That will help you recognize them through the mirror. Because for some reason your mind can’t seem to associate this being with yourself. You just stand there, looking at this person you surely know everything about, and yet for some reason you still can’t believe it’s you.

girl, hair, and beautiful image

This isn’t the same person you were many years ago, and, similarly, this isn’t the same person you glance at for two seconds each morning before you brush your teeth. Not the same person you see reflected in the car windows as you walk down the parking lot, or in a puddle of water on a wet day. No. This is someone different entirely.

Then you start to ask yourself who you are. Who you are really. If this isn’t you, who is?

And, somehow, you find yourself paralyzed, standing in front of the mirror this morning, right before an inevitably busy day at work or school or whatever it may be, because for some reason the universe told you that this is the best time to do your deepest thinking. And you don’t argue with it. You don’t even think about it until a while later. Until now.

blackandwhite, face, and girl image

After a few long seconds you shake off the feeling, and remember to carry on.

You don’t do this often. Perhaps you’ve never done it at all, before now that is. It’s strange, this feeling. Unfamiliar. Something that you can’t quite be sure matters. But you find yourself thinking about it anyway, because we do that sometimes- we think about things that might not be important. And that’s normal, so it must be fine.

You look at yourself in the mirror because it is the morning, and that’s what you have always done in the morning. But this feeling, this disassociation from yourself, is different from what you’ve always done. And different is scary sometimes. So you start to ask yourself: When was the last time I looked in the mirror, really looked, and, in my reflection, was able to see who I truly am?

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Thank you everybody for reading! I was just online one day when I decided to randomly read people's responses to the question 'What do you think of when you look in the mirror?' and was inspired to write about this strange sensation. I don't know if you've ever felt this before, but it does interest me: what do you think of when you look in the mirror?

Please feel free to message me anytime about some ideas you have, or if you just want to talk. Make sure you check out some of my other articles, which I've linked below. 'Til next time!
― Jules

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@yourjules