I look at my reflection in the mirror alot. It's safe to say I spend a good portion of my time in front of mirrors, studying my reflection.
As far back as I can recall, this has been the case, and up until I was about 11 I regularly, recognized and identified with my reflection. Then those pesky gender making changes began to occur and I no longer identified with that person in the mirror.
This came to mind this evening as I was refilling my water bottle as part of my night time routine. Through my peripheral vision I saw the person in the mirror, noting the slight sunburn, the tousled hair, the trimmed up beard. And my initial reaction was "Man, that guy is attractive." Then I realized that guy was me. I know that sounds incredibly vain, and I admit that I am, but that actually is not my point this evening.
I was a bit upset at my delayed recognition of my reflection as myself. I got used to not identifying with that thing in the mirror over half my life ago. It's really strange that now I look more like what I expect to see. I spent so long seeing that unhappy, ANGRY girl, that I completely disconnected the association of my reflection with myself.
Because I never have been that girl. Everyone else saw her, but that was that doppelganger, that appeared in photographs, and others' perception.
Between the initial perception of my reflection and my registering that, I am that person, there is a several millisecond delay. There has been for eighteen years. I wonder if I will ever recognize myself immediately again.