I see a man with a grizzled look. There is a two-day growth of beard on his face, but he’s shaved two areas that create faux-sideburns, a quick job that didn’t require much energy, and it looks like it. His eyes are red-tinged, testament to too little sleep of late. I can see them through his glasses, the ones that have little spots that hardly distort his vision, but they obviously need a good cleaning.
He often views himself in profile to try and make out a double chin that he’s been worried will appear for far too long. That comes from his father, who admonished that he do chin exercises from an early age, the ones that require he put his knuckle under his chin and press upward. He hasn’t been doing them nearly as often as he used to, and he thinks he detects a wattle of hanging flesh, not unlike the ones that turkeys regularly sport. But there is a maturity in his eyes that wasn’t there even a year ago.
I see a man striving for continuity in a rapidly changing world. He fights with internal demons that threaten to drag him down every single day, like ghosts in a haunted house who drift from room to room but who are nevertheless always there. He loves spending time with his family because he didn’t appreciate them before, not truly.
But his eyes have been opened and he knows how amazing it is to have people who love him for him, the negatives and the positives, who don’t judge him for the person he can’t help being. And the things he can change he has, no matter how difficult, because he knows that change is important to growth, both spiritually and emotionally.
I see a man who doesn’t like looking at himself but who does it anyway to remind himself of where he’s come from and of where he’s going, for better of for worse. But hopefully for better.