This was the very first article I wrote almost a year ago in one of the prestigious writing site.

I opened my eyes to the darkened room and slowly tiptoed to the window.  Catching a glimpse of a new day just peeking through the ebony sky, I knew there was no turning back.  Quietly, I went to the bathroom and looked at myself in the mirror…Is this how a 40-year old look like?  The girl I see in the mirror is not young anymore.  Wrinkles in the eyes and face are visible despite the daily applications of different moisturizers and creams.  In fact, those facial treatments that I monthly indulged in cannot stop blemishes from appearing.  Gone was the once svelte, eye-catching body.  Instead I see someone almost 25kgs overweight with all the love handles visible everywhere. Should I start considering Liposuction? I grimaced.  Physically, at age 40, I am a distasteful picture.  With a deep sigh, I started to leave when suddenly I stopped.  Glancing back at myself in the mirror, I looked deeply in those dark almond eyes staring back at me.

I see someone who has been through a difficult life the past 40 years.  Strength, courage and a deep faith in God has helped me survive the most trying times of my life.  The past year alone has not been easy for me financially and emotionally.  Business has been almost dying while bills were piling up high waiting to be paid.  I took it hard when my youngest daughter who used to live with me decided to go back to her dad, my ex husband.  Worst, I have been betrayed by the man who promised to grow old with me.  Pain and sadness have been my best friends and not more than once, I have contemplated if I should go on living this life.

Yet as I continue to reflect on this, from somewhere I felt the strength of God seeping through my very soul.  Despite the physical unattractive sight, I see a beautiful person who is filled with love and kindness.  Not allowing hatred or anger to rule my heart, I have learned the art of forgiving not only the people who has caused me pain but myself most especially. I have learned to move on and continue living. I am still in control of my life and even if there are times I am scared, I face life with a zest!  When life throws lemons, it is up to us to make lemonade out of it.  Yes, it may be difficult but we can always use a trial in life to become a challenge that will draw out the best that we can be.

Today is my 40th birthday and I can’t wait to see what is in store for me the next 40 years.  I know the road ahead isn’t easy.  With all the turns and bumps along the way, with God’s grace, I am not afraid. They say beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.  To others looking on, they may see an overweight, over-the-hill girl but for me, what I see in the mirror is a kind, courageous and a lot better person.