When I first saw you, this morning in the mirror, I wasn’t sure what to think. Is it a shadow, the effect of the bad lighting in the bathroom, a bit of makeup leftover from last evening, a mark from the sheets, I asked myself. No, I wasn’t ready to admit, that approaching thirty I was also approaching that age when wrinkles are to be accepted. And so I decided to welcome you. After all, even though you were not invited per se, you were here to stay.
And so I realized that you did not come that easy. No. You are the result of late nights drinking on the balcony of a Gloucester road gloomy studio. Of last minute studying for a commercial law exam, skipping meals, nights of sleep and catch ups with friends. Of midnight walks to the nearest tesco for an oh so urgent jar of Petite Maman strawberry jam. You are the product of 6 am alarm clocks for an 8 am start at the 17th floor of a Canary Wharf tour. Of constant flat moving, house-warming parties, boeuf bourgignon failures and Dominos pizza 2 am deliveries. Of love stories, heart breaks and tragic losses. Of hope and exhaustion. Of pushes in a delivery room and diaper changing. Of fights and make ups. Of insecurity and moments of confidence. Of weight gained and short episodes of involuntary anorexia. Of summers burning in the sun for a golden tan short-lived, fast gone. Of long English winters that knew no spring. Of mice in my cupboard. Of 5 am essay submissions. Of long phone calls with a friend I never met.
You are the result of all that and more. My first wrinkle, you are beautiful for you come from a beautiful place and you give meaning to my face.