Naomi, a woman in her prime, sits in front of a vanity. She takes off make up and talks to the audience directly and intimately.
NAOMI: And there I was, naively thinking I was done with self-love.
After all, I learned it years ago, in puberty. When I was roaming the halls of my school repeating affirmations of self-love that soon enough became truths I held on to. When I went to my first modeling 'go sees' and had my body examined and features studied as if I wasn't even in the room. When I would find things I was good at and learned my own self worth by owning them. When I found things I was bad at and learned to love those as well... Embraced some of my inadequacies, my imperfections, my flaws. The parts of my body that could have been different, the freckles that took over my face, the rounded shoulders, the long arms... I learned to love them all. I thought I learned all I had to learn of self love. And that the lesson was over and done with. That I could 'sign off on my check list'. Been there and done that. How naive was I.... I didn't know time will play it part. That age will smack me in the face, remind me that I will not always be young and pretty. Shoved a mirror up to my face to see the shadow of my naive self loving youth. Don't get me wrong -- I know I am still young. And some will say -- me included, so apologies for my sincerity/vanity here -- that I am still pretty, but the reality of time has finally sunk in. Sunk in and made me look at myself as I if I was seeing a new person. Who is that person? I don't know her. I look at the mirror and stare. With fascination. With irritation. With boredom. She frightens me. That woman staring back at me, with her all knowing eyes and frown lines. She frightens me with her direct accusation. And that haunted voice that constantly whispers in my head, like a subtle and horrific mantra that wouldn't stop. It says: 'You don't really love me. You never really have. You have only love my facade, my shadow. But I am right here, facing you, even when you don't even face me in the mirror. I am always there. I am always there, IN YOU. I am a part of you. A part you have not yet learned to love.'
Well. To her I say... learning is harder with age. Why didn't you hound me in my youth!? Where were you then? But it's no use. She just laughs at my face. Mocks my naivety. After all those years... I am still as naive as a young and pretty girl. But the woman staring back at me in the mirror... I don't know what she is, but NAIVE -- she is not.
In April 2020, while experiencing her first ever global pandemic, Tamar Pelzig pledged to write something every day, even if it's only a word, so she welcomed to the world a daily blog to keep her creative writing wheels rolling.
Header Art: Daniel Landerman