When I look in the mirror, what do I see?
Although I am my own person, I definitely see a mixture of those to whom I'm related.
I see a lot of my dad and his mom. His sister, too.
My maiden name is Nicholes. It's pronounced as though it were spelled Nicholas, but not spelled that way. I wish it had been. It would have saved me a lot of grief growing up, let me tell you.
My dad's family is Greek. The story goes that our last name used to be Nikolopoulos, but one of my ancestors tried to Americanize it and changed it to Nicholes. I spent the first twenty-four years of my life saying, "no, not a-s, it's e-s". The whole name changing tale came from my dad. He was a world class bullshitter, so I'm not sure that it's true, but that's what I was always led to believe. The Greek part, however, is undeniable.
|My grandmother, my dad, me and my aunt|
I definitely see these three in my face when I look in the mirror. I have my grandmother's profile, and in many pictures, I share an expression that reminds me a lot of her. I don't actually know much about my grandmother, other than her name is Edythe. She would be about ninety right now - but I'm not even sure that she's still living. When I separated myself from my dad twenty-four years ago, I also separated myself from the rest of his family. I spent quite a bit of time with her as a child, but I was never very close to her.
I have my dad's eyes - huge and round with very long eyelashes. His were dark, though. They were hazel, but looked brown unless you were very close to him. My eyes are a strange mix of blue, green and gray. The color is unique to me, and I'm good with that.
Both of my parents have wide smiles. I guess that was in the cards for me, regardless.
I also see a lot of my mom in me when I look in the mirror.
|Me, my mom, my dad and my dad's mom|
I got her rounded face shape and her nose, thank goodness. She's Dutch and has a little button nose. I'm so glad she shared it with me. Mimi used to tell me how much Mom and I looked alike when I was growing up. I think my mom is beautiful. I've always taken that as a compliment.
|This was taken in 1975. I was four years old|
|Me and Mom February 2016|
It's not just who I resemble that I notice now when I see my face. I also see a change in my attitude, and a change in how I feel about myself in general. I could always be thinner, less rosy-cheeked. My teeth could be straighter, my eyes not so big. But then I wouldn't be me.
I'm okay with the lines around my mouth. They show how much I smile. I'm also happy about the calm I see in my eyes when I gaze into the mirror. I used to see a lot of chaos there. The storm has settled quite a bit.
I see a wild-haired dork staring back at me from the mirror. She's a goofball, but I like her just fine.