Always The Bridesmaid, Never The Bride

What do you see when you look in the mirror?

Today’s blog prompt from WordPress is about mirrors and how you see yourself in them. To me, mirrors symbolize truth. I can think what I want about myself and how I look, but when I look in the mirror, I’m forced to see things as they really are. The mirror’s cold messages are up to my interpretation; I can see my nose and think “Ooh, I thought it was smaller,” or I can think, “Gee, that’s my favorite part of my face,” but what I see in the mirror is what I get.

One of the greatest struggles in life is reconciling our mirror images with how we see ourselves, both physically and on a more abstract level. We often think of ourselves as filling certain niches, like being “the fun one” or “the smart one,” and we hesitate to change those. Humans like consistency. We don’t like to think of those core elements of ourselves as being malleable. The problem is that what we really are can diverge from our conceptions of ourselves, like two friends parting ways at a fork in the road. Eventually the forks in the road have diverged so far that one friend cannot see the other, as our conception of who we are strays so far from reality that they are no longer reconcilable.

I had a moment today where I called out to that friend walking down the other fork in the road, and she did not answer. She was so far away she could not hear me, and it was at that moment that I realized that my conception of myself no longer matched what was real.

As I spoke with a friend today about prospects for summer jobs, I found myself encouraging the friend to apply for competitive positions in a vicarious manner. I found myself telling them to strive for the best while wishing I myself could achieve close to that level. I realized that I was not the high achiever I had always believed I was. I asked the mirror, mirror on the wall who was the hardest working of them all, and it did not respond in my favor.

I have always believed myself to be supremely driven, the kind of person who settles for nothing less than the best, especially when it comes to academics, and thus career. Today, as my reflection stared me down, I saw that I have allowed myself to believe that success in an intense business environment isn’t for “people like me.” I’ve allowed myself to think that the top jobs and internships are for “someone else,” that person whose parents’ friends are the executives of companies and who has already done five internships by the time they get to college. I’ve allowed myself to stop striving and start settling, believing I’m destined for an eternal game of “always the bridesmaid, never the bride.” I’ve let myself let myself down.

Quite frankly, it’s silly. No one gets anywhere in life by assuming they can’t be the best or somewhere close. We all have disadvantages in life, whether it’s in what we know or who we know or what we have, and allowing those to serve as a mental roadblock isn’t just inaccurate. It’s unacceptable. I’ve allowed myself to be a whiny child who won’t play the game of cards unless she can win. Our past successes and failures do not define us, and I hope to no longer allow mine to define me.

The mirror is unforgiving. It forces us to see ourselves in ways perhaps we’d rather not. But with knowledge comes power, the power to either change our conceptions of ourselves to fit what we see or to change what we see to emulate what we’d like ourselves to be. So don’t be afraid of your reflection, of seeing yourself in a real light. Our reflections, whether physical or metaphorical, can be disheartening when they fail to show us what we wish to see. But they can also give us the inspiration to change for the better. I know mine has.



Other great blog posts under the same blog prompt – enjoy!

  1. The Mirrored Self | The Magic Black Book
  2. Fishing | The Jittery Goat
  3. Daily Prompt: Mirror, Mirror | Under the Monkey Tree
  4. Daily prompt: Mirror Mirror | The Wandering Poet
  5. They tell a different story | Hope* the happy hugger
  6. Insanity | Perspectives on life, universe and everything
  7. Daily Prompt: Mirror, Mirror « cognitive reflection
  8. Daily Prompt: Mirror Mirror | Thoughts of an INFP
  9. Infinity Pool | Exploratorius | Photo Hack & Curious Wanderer
  10. Daily Prompt: Mirror, Mirror | Incidents of a Dysfunctional Spraffer
  11. of rituals « Anawnimiss
  12. I Have a Secret, I am Superman – Daily prompt: Mirrored | Eikons
  13. The Many Masks We Wear | Rose-tinted Rambles
  14. Dolomiten Spiegelungen | Foto Challenge
  15. DP Daily Prompt: Mirror,Mirror | Sabethville
  16. Daily Prompt: mirror mirror | Attempted Human Relations and Self
  17. She stole my face | writemybrainsout
  18. Mirror, Mirror: You’re always Exotic Somewhere « psychologistmimi
  19. Mirror, mirror | Sue’s Trifles
  20. Daily Prompt: Mirror, Mirror | tnkerr-Writing Prompts and Practice
  21. Now and then I will make an effort to deal with the current mug… | thoughtsofrkh
  22. Naked Selfie | 365 days of defiance
  23. Mirror Mirror – Daily Prompt « My journey to qualify for the Boston Marathon…and everything in between…
  24. Daily Prompt: Mirror, Mirror | Awl and Scribe
  25. Look away and I will be gone | Vampire Maman
  26. Skinny bashing. | jaguarsden
  27. Daily Prompt: Mirror, Mirror | “The Ish,” presented by the Bohemian Rock Star
  28. Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder | marjanitalarosa
  29. Daily Prompt: Mirror Mirror: What have you done with the girl I used to be? | storyofmylife1993
  30. Daily Prompt: More Than Skin Deep | One Starving Activist
  31. Daily Prompt: Mirror Mirror | Elizabeth Melton Parsons
  32. Daily Prompt: Mirror Mirror on the Wall | 2far2shout
  33. A Russian Doll of masks: Daily Prompt | alienorajt
  34. Daily prompt: Unexpected | Stories from aside
  35. Hairball | Wanderlein
  36. Looking At Myself | Living and Lovin
  37. Mirror, Mirror | The Nameless One
  38. Looking in the Mirror «
  39. A stranger stared back at me. | Kate Murray
  40. Anonymous
  41. Daily Prompt: Mirrored | Lostinthot
  42. Is that you? | Dance with the Rain
  43. The reflection | Raspberry’s Daydreams
  44. Mirror, Mirror – Passionately Bored
  45. 7 Years of Bad Luck | We Don’t Do Easy
  46. My soul in the mirror | Busy Mind Thinking
  47. Mirror, Mirror | Tommia’s Tablet
  48. The First Person | 52 Miles per Month
  49. Daily Prompt: Mirror, Mirror | The Understreets
  50. Mirror, Mirror | A Good One
  51. Mirror, Mirror | Geek Ergo Sum
  52. Through the eyes of others… | alienorajt
  53. Mirror, Mirror On The Wall | Lisa’s Kansa Muse
  54. Appearances and a Ruddy, Handsome Tender of Sheep | meanderedwanderings
  55. evil | not4faintheartsblog
  56. Daily Prompt: Mirror, Mirror | Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss
  57. Mirror of Awakening | Buzzy Beez Giftz
  58. Through The Looking Glass | Just Visiting This Planet
  59. S. Thomas Summers | Mirror, Mirror…A Writer’s Curse/Blessing
  60. Mirro Mirror on the Wall… | I Hope You’re Taking Notes
  61. Mirror, Mirror | The Writings of Selene Zuni
  62. Mirror Mirror on the Wall… | I Hope You’re Taking Notes
  63. Mirrored: People Are Like Telephones | A Really Full Life
  64. Body Image and Stuff | thanks for letting me autograph your cat
  65. What do you see… | My Top Fives…
  66. Oh, I Cry Over Spilt Milk
  67. I am who I am | Life Love Lily
  68. Who’s That Girl | The Migraine Chronicles
  69. Daily Prompt: Mirror, Mirror | niennie
  70. M’s Little Pieces | Charron’s Chatter
  71. Daily Prompt: Mirror, Mirror | Two descriptions of a same person | IvyMosquito
  72. The mirror is not my friend. | Tales of a slightly stressed Mother!
  73. Mirrored- | Randomlyabstract’s Blog
  74. My Bare Face | Scribbled Posts
  75. Daily Prompt: Mirror, Mirror | Polyprotic Amory
  76. Mirror, Mirror: Appearance Matters More Than Talent | I Have an Interesting fact Fetish, and I Can’t Stop
  77. passion within | sarahscapes
  78. Daily Prompt: The New Me | A shot of espresso.
  79. How Do I Look? | The Enchanted Mind
  80. Daily Prompt – Mirrored – The wisdom lines. | Its all about a bit of this and that.
  81. Daily Prompt: Mirror, Mirror | Basically Beyond Basic
  82. Hey That’s Me! | Read Me
  83. The Clash/Daily Prompt, Mirrors | I’m a Writer, Yes I Am
  84. Of mirrors and reflections | Concentrate On Yourself
  85. My reflection is confusing | Claud’s Ramblings
  86. MIRRORED IMAGES | Serendipity
  87. Visualizing a different you | Emotional Fitness
  88. Who’s the Most EVERYTHING of them all? | The Best Life
  89. Mirror, Mirror:rorriM ,rorriM | Khana’s Web
  90. Daily Prompt: Mirror, Mirror | Being a Huntress
  91. Inside Looking Out | Finale to an Entrance
  92. Reflection | Real Life Co.
  93. Mirrors…Judgey McJudgertons | Unlocking The Inner Creative
  94. Daily Prompt: Mirror, Mirror | MARGARET ROSE STRINGER
  95. Daily Prompt: Mirror Mirror | The Braxtyn Files
  96. Mirror, Mirror | Non-runner’s Guide to Becoming a Half-Marathoner
  97. Daily Prompt: Mirror, Mirror | Breathe Deep, Darling
  98. Rehearsal | Grace Under Fire
  99. Reflecting | Not a Punk Rocker
  100. Mirror, Mirror | Lead us from the Unreal to the Real
  101. Inner Peace | LenzExperiments
  102. Daily Prompt: Mirrored | Occasional Stuff
  103. Let me tell you about… inspiration [Melody #1] | Rob’s Surf Report
  104. DP: Mirror-Mirror | As I See It
  105. Rarely, I think, if at all. | Mishe en Place
  106. Daily Post: Mirror, Mirror | Sued51′s Blog
  107. M I R R O R E D | the bippity boppity beautiful blog
  108. Daily Prompt: Mirror, Mirror | Poetry
  109. Mirror, mirror | Sanjuro Tokage Experiments in Writing
  110. A Zombie in the Mirror | Nodus Tollens
  111. Mirror Mirror On The Wall- When I Look In The Mirror….. | Thediaspeaks;
  112. Mirror, Mirror, Challenge | lordmikle
  113. Daily Prompt: Mirror, Mirror » My Life, My Way, My Words
  114. Daily Prompt: Mirror Mirror | Occasional Stuff
  115. Mirror of the city | Le Drake Noir
  116. It not the reflection that matters | djgarcia94
  117. Daily Prompt: Mirror, Mirror | Lancing a Windmill
  118. Mirror mirror – believe it or not | Going New Places!
  119. Daily Prompt: Mirror, Mirror | jane sleeps here
  120. Daily Prompt: Mirror, Mirror | Morrighan’s Muse
  121. Daily Prompt: Mirror, Mirror | Picayune Pieces
  122. Aping Love | vic briggs
  123. The Eye of the Beholder | theauthorwhoknows
  124. Daily Prompt: Being Reflective! | All Things Cute and Beautiful
  125. Daily Prompt: Mirror, Mirror | Moments Thru Lens
  126. Daily Post: Syncing the Selves | wordsandotherthings
  127. Daily Prompt: Mantric Mirror | Karen Gadient
  128. mirror mirror…or not? | life and loveliness
  129. Snow White | Active Army Wife
  130. Mirrored By Nature | Pairings: Art + What Goes With It
  131. Mirror Mirror: Who are you? | Passionate Dreaming
  132. Funhouse! | Edward Hotspur
  133. Mirror, Mirror on the wall…. | This is Me….. For All Its Worth..
  134. Daily Prompt: Mirror, Mirrored | @ The West Gate
  135. Forever Cold | martha0stout
  136. Mirror, Mirror: The Mirroring Effect? (Luke 6:45) | The Christian Gazette
  137. Who dat? | Mindful Digressions
  138. Espelho meu | Sonhos desencontrados
  139. mirror, mirror, on the wall | The Jenn Site
  140. Daily Prompt: Mirrored & I am slightly behind! | Daily Prompt & Blogging Progress
  141. Daily Prompt: Mirror, Mirror | Jennifer Nichole Wells
  142. Daily Prompt: mirror | Chronicles of a Public Transit User
  143. Daily Prompt: Mirror, Mirror | Edge of the Forest
  144. Tell Me What You See… Selfies | HAPnHAP
  145. Mirror, mirror, on the wall… | THERE’S A HELL OF A NICE UNIVERSE NEXT DOOR
  146. Mirror, Mirror | 365 Days of Thank You
  147. Riding the Number Line | field of thorns
  148. A Baby Laughing | Wiley’s Wisdom
  149. Daily prompt: Priorities | helen meikle’s scribblefest
  150. On mirrors and clichés | dreaming of melville
  151. Mirror, Mirror – Ramblings from the Swamp
  152. REFLECTIONS | The Pookshelf
  153. Mirrored | The Land Slide Photography
  154. I Guess I’m Beautiful? | The Janie Doh Daily
  155. Daily Prompt: Mirror, Mirror | Admittedly Me
  156. Mirror, Mirror, On The Wall | Be more.
  157. Writing Challenge: Mirror Mirror | Miss Diaries
  158. Mirrored | 6 of One…
  159. What do You See in the Mirror? | Yellow Brick Road
  160. Daily Post: Mirror, Mirror | Conscious Cognition
  161. The Faces of beauty | UBeCute – Follow the child inside of you…
  162. Mirror, Mirror | The Adventures of Jonathan Dumlao
  163. Daily prompt: Mirror Mirror | dlbcorner
  164. Smoke and Mirrors | Rising Above the Clouds
  165. Man in the Mirror | Constructing a Life
  166. Daily Prompt: Mirror, Mirror | No Apologies
  167. Reflexive reflecting | travel adventures
  168. Facing the Mirror | The Dragon Weyr
  169. Who? Me? | Words ‘n Pics…
  170. What Do You See | Brain Sweets
  171. Mirrorer | L5GN
  172. Mirror, Tell Me Something… | Polymathically
  173. Mirror, Mirror | The Hickey Diaries
  174. Always The Bridesmaid, Never The Bride | Pinstripes&Lipgloss
  175. Daily Prompt: Mirror, Mirror | Indira’s Blog
  176. Mirror, mirror | Tet 365
  177. Daily Prompt: Mirror, Mirror – WHAT YOU LOOKIN’ AT? | Phoenix Fights
  178. Daily Prompt: Mirror, Mirror | psfearlessmoms
  179. Mirror (Daily Prompt) | Running On Sober
  180. Moose hunting! | Heart Soul and Mind
  181. Through a Glass, Darkly | unfound
  182. I wanna eat french fries | I am Lynn
  183. Clarity | Being HIS Light in a Dark World
  184. MIRRORED | Words in Silver
  185. Somewhere Comfortable | My Author-itis
  186. The Mirror Always Lies | Be Less Amazing
  187. Daily Prompt: Mirror, Mirror | Nola Roots, Texas Heart
  188. Mirror, Mirror… What Reflections, Show You? | Wandering Gypsy Spirit
  189. Mirror Mirror | thisblogisepic
  190. Daily Prompt: Mirror Mirror | Life with Tess
  191. Daily Prompt: Mirror, Mirror | Your Daily Dose

10 thoughts on “Always The Bridesmaid, Never The Bride

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