I am about fifteen years too late, but recently I have delved into the Harry Potter movie series. (I am not interested in reading the books at this time). In the film, there is a mirror (The Mirror of Erised) that shows the desires of one’s heart instead of merely their reflection. It is purported to be dangerous as it shows life as you wish it would be instead of reality. The concept of this mirror made me wonder what would currently appear in my mirror. In a little over a week, I will be turning 25. There is a plethora of things that I’d thought I’d have accomplished by this age. While I don’t have the fictional Mirror of Erised to publicly reflect the desires of my heart, I still have my thoughts and self-perception. At times, I dwell on what should have been, my mistakes and failings to the point where it cripples me. There are three things that I thought I’d have accomplished by the age of 25:
- College Graduate
- Married or Engaged
- Living on my own
They may seem like small and basic goals to many but not having achieved them by my current age (24 years and 357 days old) paralyzed me for a while. The concept of the “Mirror of Erised” exists in real life, however, unlike the movie where it was moved to another location to prevent students from finding it, it can exist in the mind. Unlike Dumbledore, the teacher who moved the mirror in the film, I believe that it is important to know what is in your mirror and address it. While it can be challenging, I personally, find some power in acknowledging my desires. By saying openly to myself “I am not where I thought I would be, I thought I would be XYZ”, I take the sting of shame away. It is no longer festering in the confines of my mind, rotting away any positive thoughts concerning my future. It becomes something that I can objectively examine and compartmentalize.
While I understand that “looking into the mirror” can cause damage, I believe that it is something that we must confront at some point.