Reflection (Deux Fois)

Author JC Wing and I may have hurt ourselves on this topic. She mentioned it briefly the day before we started the #WingWritingChallenge, already overthinking the process. That is something we are both guilty of and why we’re determined not to look at topics until the day of.

I responded to her thought and now I’m sure we both have preconceived notions of what to write about. That takes away the fun of playing the word association games of this 30 day challenge.

To counter that, I decided to go with two definitions of Reflection. So sit back, relax, and allow me to take you on a really long journey. No, seriously, grab a snack or something; I’m already long winded without having multiple topics. We may all age a year while we’re giving our attention to this one post.

By the way, I have no idea why I chose French and then stuck with it as a theme. Blame the need for a catchy title. Please don’t think words are mis-spelled and then come after me. My heart can’t take it.

Premier: the throwing back by a body or surface of light, heat, or sound without absorbing it.

Basically a mirror, or a really smooth lake/puddle/body of water.

Often the heat is reflected off of the asphalt and leaves a nifty shimmer in the air. I enjoy that visual, though I’m not a big fan of that kind of heat.

Don’t get me wrong, I love sunshine – that’s half the reason I was willing to move to Florida permanently – and I love heat, but I’m discovering there is a limit. It’s somewhere near the triple digits, go figure.

I don’t have a problem with the reflection I see on a daily basis. I’ve found a lot of women start becoming … upset … with their view when they reach the age that I am. They’re discovering grey hair and little wrinkles, perhaps a few saggy bits. I have those, too, they’re part of living the life that I have.

Those newfound flaws are reminders of the journey I’ve taken. That journey is not something I’m ashamed of and I wear the physical reminders semi-proudly. I say semi because, well, okay, the grey hair sucks. I’ve been covering that since I was eighteen, so in my world, the continuous coloring of it doesn’t count. Do you like my mental gymnastics?

I’m actually at my natural brunette-grey streaked self at the moment. My birthday is coming up and I’ll be choosing a new color shortly.

This next part is going to suck. It’s going to sound like humble bragging. That is definitely not intended. This is me, sharing my inner world. Bear with me.

I’ve always looked young for my age. I am “light boned”, very slim, and what the doctor classifies as underweight, severely. I look thin, of course, but I’m healthy. I’ve mentioned this before in a blog piece about Stress Starving – Yes, that’s a thing. I have or had decent skin and with the colored hair and super slim build, I am forty that can pass for late twenties, early thirties. I often am asked for identification to buy cigarettes or alcohol.

This has been a problem for a long time. When I was sixteen, I straight up looked twelve or younger. It didn’t help that I could still fit in the clothes I’d had at that age. This is gross, but older men would hit on me. Like mid to late twenties. They’re already hitting on a sixteen year old, which is so disgusting I have no words, much less one that appears much younger. This shit happened all. The. Time.

It became disturbing. Aside from other emotional issues that I’ve briefly mentioned before, this caused me to have serious issues with dating. All the way through to my own mid-twenties I caught myself wondering if the men who wanted to date me were into children/young teens. That’s a hard mindset to break. There was always a tiny voice in the back of my head wondering and whispering.

Once I stopped being asked for ID as often, that voice faded away and I don’t hear it anymore. Thank God.

That covers one definition of reflection, let’s move on to the other.

Seconde: serious thought or consideration.

I’ve always liked this definition of reflection. Sounds weird, right? I have a thing for words, I admit it gleefully. I love to mouth random words simply to feel the way they sit on my tongue. Silhouette is one. It started when a friend bought a Silhouette mini-van and I’ve never stopped. I love randomly seeing that word in public.

I am a SAHW/SAHA (Stay at Home Wife/Author). I’m blessed in that I can concentrate 100% on my health and my writing. I’ll be looking for a part time job soon, but that’s only because I am beginning to crave random human interaction. It helps with my writing. It will also help me get to know the people and town better, now that we’re officially settled.

I have a lot of time during the day to sit in quiet reflection. I don’t turn on the radio or television anymore. They have the potential to be distracting. I’ve found this silence doesn’t affect me, unless I completely miss news of a weather front or something. I keep up with the news online when I’m taking a break from research or even simply screwing around.

You know those conversations you have with people, and like two days afterwards you are in the shower and you come up with the perfect comeback line or argument? I feel like I am living in that exact shower moment often. It’s how I come up with plot points and scenes and motivation for characters.

To explain: my excellent memory runs over happenings in my recent and long term past. My imagination steps in and pushes two seemingly unrelated events together, shakes them, boils and then bakes them, and an end product is spit out – usually by fingers on keyboard, sometimes me randomly blurting something out at the grocery store.

I have a lot of epiphanies. This quiet time where I’m letting my brain drift and reflect where it must helps me come to understand a lot of my past, including healthy and unhealthy motivations.

This is one of the things that helps make my characters feel real. I refuse to hide the things that happen to us in life, our emotions and reactions.

If someone breaks into my house, ransacks it looking for something, leaves my underwear floating about on the floor, well, I’m going to feel violated and more often than not, going to puke reflexively, because of the emotion of the moment. I am not alone in this. Thus, my characters show human sides when I wreak havoc on their world.

It can work against me. I’ve reconsidered things I’ve done and understood exactly how awful it may have been. Fortunately I can come to terms with most of those memories, and I’ve been able to forgive those slights against myself.

It’s quite freeing.

Terminer: This post went deeper than I had intended. That’s okay. I have found it’s better to be more open rather than less. And thus we conclude day 4 of the #WingWritingChallenge. Later this afternoon I’ll sit and reflect on the reasons why I haven’t been able to stay on date with these. The epiphany will probably be small.


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