Global Hobo | Freedom from my reflection

Looking in the mirror is a routine part of the day. In the morning when you get dressed, brush your teeth, again before you leave the house. Then in the rearview mirror on your way to work or uni. Or the reflection in the window on your walk. In the elevator, in the bathroom. The mirror and your appearance are intrinsically intertwined throughout your day.  It’s not really something you think about; it’s just a fact of life.

Last year, I visited Guatemala where I lived with a little family in a small town. Now if you think that Guatemalans spend hours prepping and priming themselves in front of a mirror, you’re kidding yourself. There were no mirrors in the house, and only a small mirror in the school I was teaching at. Suddenly, my appearance was completely irrelevant. Even if I wanted to look in a mirror, it was rarely an option. Suddenly, the anxiety that used to shadow my morning ritual was abolished. This freedom that accompanied a lack of mirrors was liberating. To get out of bed, get dressed, brush my teeth, and leave. No poking and prodding and changing my outfit three times. To know that I felt good, and that was all that mattered.

I told myself this is how I would live everyday, regardless of what country I was living in. I would never again fall into the pattern of checking my reflection for the fifth and sixth time before even leaving the house. I was free.

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