I sometimes wake to find a giant sleep line on the left side of my face. It starts somewhere in my hairline, runs alongside my eye and straight through the center of my cheek. It lightens up a bit after taking a hot shower but I can still see it as I apply my make-up. I glance at it as I’m leaving for the day, asking myself, “should I be embarrassed that there is a big line running down the side of my face?” I’m never quite sure how to answer that question.

Two weeks away from my 35th birthday, I wake to find the same sleep line running down my face. This morning though it makes me smile because it occurs to me that I’m still young enough to distinguish a sleep line from a wrinkle. It has no competition. When I am old and grey will I be able to tell the two apart? This morning, I look in the mirror and see myself as a little girl; hair soft and tangled, the signs of a deep restful sleep imprinted on my warm, round face. I’m transported back to the days when getting a full night’s sleep was a regular occurrence and waking up with a sense of peace was typical; knowing all I had to do was get out of bed and see what the day had in store. My whole life ahead of me, never in a hurry to do much of anything – except grow up.

Most mornings now I get out of bed and notice the darkening circles under my eyes, my complexion a little less rosy, my hair not as thick and hips that are sore getting out of bed. I think about my future, my finances and the messy apartment that I know I will not clean today (that part is still the same I suppose). Today however, I feel at peace and young again, no need for make-up; the sleep line like an angel’s kiss on the side of my cheek, a sweet hello from the little girl who knew it would all be ok.

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