She stared back at her twenty-two year old self in the mirror her dark hair dripping wet against the middle of her back. Her eyes gradually took in all the details of her young body and rested on a tiny forming crease upon her brow. The small wrinkle would easily go unnoticed, yet she lingered upon the sight. She was young, lithe and beautiful in so many eyes but she could not ignore the pang she felt at knowing that youth and beauty were ephemeral. They were but a slowly degrading mask withholding, even chaining an unlimited potential.

She looked into her own eyes and, instead of boiling fiery youth, she saw a wise battered soul, riper than her own years. She knew that she was at the peak of her shape, at the zenith of her journey where will and potential to achieve have reached their maximum. However, when a person reaches the summit of a mountain, he can only proceed downhill from there…

As her eyes moved downward, she noticed her slumped shoulders, heavy with the weight of the world. She had to act, to make a difference, to change it all, to use her youth right, to deploy her potentials in the optimal direction… She only had one chance and one chance only, and it was NOW! Each second she wasted was nonredeemable and brought her only a step closer to her decline. She had to act but she couldn’t move… She had so many roads to take, so many paths to choose from that she felt lost and remained there, staring blankly at her paralyzed reflection.

Her gaze drifted lower, down her strong collarbone and to her chest. She thought she could see her chest slightly thumping to the rhythm of her heart beats. Underneath that steadily moving chest, she saw a strong scarred heart. It seemed rather confident but no longer foolhardy. It was an arrogant heart, thinking it knew it all at twenty-two. It has loved and been loved. It has been hurt repeatedly and recovered. Her heart looked no longer like that of the child she once was. It was no longer soft, easy nor impressionable but it exuded of strength, perhaps even harshness, and bore its scars proudly.

She held her hand up to her reflection and examined it thoroughly.  It looked soft and firm with slender, well-defined fingers befitting an artist. Was that what she was supposed to be?…

Her cell phone’s ring brought her abruptly back to her senses. She shook off all these thoughts, half smiling at her untimely self-portrait. She had to get ready, she was late!



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