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March 12, 2022

When you Look at Me now, Do you still See Her?

What do you see when you look into my eyes?

When you look at me, do you still see the girl I was when we met so many years ago? When we were only 13 years old and we had our whole lives ahead of us? When we couldn’t wait to grow up and explore the world?

Do you still see me as that young girl who was so full of life, so wild and free? When you look at me now, do you still remember my smooth, unlined skin and my eyes that sparkled with excitement and laughter?

Does your mind play a trick on you and make me look that way again? Back when my body was toned and perfect without even trying? A girl whose only concern was getting her schoolwork done on time and whether that cute boy in math class liked her, too?

When you look at me now, do you still see her?

Although time has been kind to me, still, my body has changed—as it does from having two children. My face now has some lines and wrinkles that came from the worry and stress from years of dealing with a son who battled addiction and, thankfully, came out on the other side. A woman who went through a divorce a few years later. A woman who has had to learn to take care of herself and be on her own for the first time in her life.

The same woman who looks at you and sees the kind, thoughtful boy she remembers from so long ago. You are now a man, but who, in her mind, looks the same as you did back then, but different.

Even now, when she looks into your eyes, you never age in her mind. Yet, at the same time, she sees the man who has matured and grown into an even better version of that young boy. A man she loves no matter how many years pass. A man whom she often wonders what he sees when he looks at her. A man whom she hopes still thinks she’s as beautiful now as she was then, even though time has changed her on the outside.

Time passes so quickly, yet our minds allow us to remember “back when”—which is a beautiful gift in itself.

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