I love the above picture, taken when I was five and part of a dance studio. I was a very feminine little girl, fanciful and open-hearted. I believed in everything magical. The world was a rainbow to me, multi-colored and splendiferous. I was sure I would grow up to live in a castle.
Above, here I am in second grade. A wistful girl. An average student, I was given to daydreaming when I ought to be paying attention. A doctor wrote of me that I had "sensitivity rarely seen in a child her age". I easily made friends, but was shy and longed for solitude.
As the years went by, I grew to be awkward and buck-toothed. Braces didn't add to my self-confidence. I wore dark-framed glasses and struggled with style. I no longer felt like a princess and believed I'd be lucky if anyone would ever take a second look at me.
Then the braces came off. I traded my glasses for contacts. I found my style (romantic). I felt confident and I forgot about myself.
Now, I am middle-aged, chubby, at times awkward and not as stylish I once was. But that's okay, because deep inside, I feel like that little girl with the crown on her head. I know that the world can be a scary, sad place, but it can also be magical, where anything is possible .
As we experience life we can one day find that we are far away from our true selves. It's a journey to get to that place and it's a journey to find our way back. It reminds me of a poem that was shared at church last Sunday...
At age 3, a little girl looks in the mirror and sees a queen.
At age 8, she looks in the mirror and see Cinderella or Sleeping Beauty.
At age 15, she looks in the mirror and sees fat/pimples/ugly and says,
"Mom, I can't go to school looking like this!"
At age 20, she looks at herself and sees too fat/too thin, too short/too tall, too straight/too curly, but she decides she is going anyway.
At age 30, she looks at herself and sees too fat/too thin, too short/too tall, too straight/too curly, but decides that she doesn't have time to fix it and goes anyway.
At age 40, she looks at herself and sees too fat/too thin, too short/too tall, too straight/too curly, but says, "At least I'm clean," and goes anyway.
At age 50, she looks in the mirror and says, "I am" and goes.
At age 60, she looks and reminds herself of all the people who can't see themselves in the mirror anymore and she goes out and conquers the world!
At age 70, she looks at herself and sees wisdom, laughter and ability, and goes out and enjoys life.
At age 80, she doesn't bother to look. She puts on a purple hat and goes out and has fun with the world.
Moral: Maybe we should grab that purple hat earlier!
Have a lovely day!