take one woman with low self esteem, but quite good hair
add one moronic illness
stir in some medication which causes hair to fall out
mix it all up and this is what you get...

Sunday, August 05, 2007

A girl I know 

There’s this girl; I’ve known her for a very long time.

Things were generally okay between us until we reached our teenage years. I became critical of her – the way she looked: too tall, too pale, too wide; the way she acted: clumsy, nervous, shy. I would try to avoid seeing her if at all possible as it would often end in upset. Sometimes, though, it was unavoidable.

This continued well into our twenties. I would criticise her life choices: letting her heart rule her head, giving up too easily, setting aside her dreams to take the crushingly boring, predictable and not even particularly lucrative route. Everything she did and the way she looked confirmed for me that she was lazy, foolish, unlikely to make anything of her life. I just avoided her, let her get on with it, let her stagnate if that's what she wanted to do.

She started to prove me wrong as we reached our thirties. She finally got off her arse and got herself fit. She looked good, I admitted a little reluctantly, for the first time. She gained in confidence and self-worth and started to work out what she really wanted from life. She found herself a man and started to stir up the stagnant pond her life had become – vowing to change her career, to do something more worthwhile, to live a simpler yet richer life. It became a pleasure to see her blossoming, finally growing up, finally looking as though she’d achieve her potential. Because I knew, deep down, she had potential.

(And hair, she always had damned good hair).

A few years have passed, and I find myself avoiding her again. Disappointingly, she doesn’t seem to have made much progress in life. Career-wise, she is still doing the same old thing for even less money. She has a vague plan which she seems eternally incapable of implementing – always making excuses as to why it can’t start just yet. Her procrastination irritates me.

Okay, she hasn’t been well just lately, which hasn't helped. It has also had a huge impact on her appearance – one which she didn’t expect. The beautiful hair which used to frame and partially conceal her not-so-delicate features is mostly gone, leaving her exposed, vulnerable, her steroid-bloated face revealed with only the wispy remains of her once copious, silky tresses stuck to her scalp or sticking out at odd angles. I find myself looking away, piteous, embarrassed. The fitness she worked so hard to achieve has melted away due to medication and forced inactivity, giving way to the dumpiness and frumpiness of earlier years.

Whilst inside, she is the same person – a fundamentally good person, I think – I can’t bear to look at her any more, that girl I’ve known for such a long time.

My reflection.


<< Home

<< Home