I don’t often stand and look in the mirror for great lengths of time. Since I cut my hair short and I don’t wear much make-up there is really no need to linger at my reflection. But this morning I did. I made the usual faces one makes while looking at themselves and I really studied my face, each crease, each unique spot that has gradually appeared on my skin over the years.
I followed the lines of wrinkles starting to appear around my eyes and, although those fissures are permanent lines in what was once smooth skin, those lines created a map of places I had been in my life. They are carved from life experiences that made me the person I am today. Each of those lines tells a story and remembering some of those stories caused me to smile which only pronounced those lines even more.
I like to think I earned each and every one of those laugh lines because I took the time to truly enjoy the good moments I’ve had. The small lines on my furrowed brow help remind me of the difficult and sad times, but times I undoubtedly learned a lesson or a coping skill. Those wrinkles belong to me. I choose to own them because I know the emotions they embody. They are imprinted in my psyche as much as they are etched on my skin.
My wrinkles are my map. They have led me from my past and, with the myriad of directions I may follow, they will help guide me into my future.