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The past two weeks have been pretty long.
My daughters have been sick. I’m exhausted—tapped the f*ck out. Whatever fuels me is dripping to my drain.
I’ve been spending a lot of time in the bathroom, breathing, crying, obsessively washing my hands, and reflecting.
I looked into the mirror at my tired eyes. Then those tired eyes began to scan.
Holy belly! You don’t even have a baby in you!
I sucked it in, let it out, then lifted my chesticles to see if it helped the image I was staring at. Success! The belly doesn’t stick out further than the boobs when you give them a lift.
Ugh. What happened to me? Who is this woman I’m staring at? Is that hair on my lip? Where did my youthful body, mind, and spirit go?
Now, I remember why I stopped looking in the mirror.
Remember middle school? When your body was changing, hormones were raging, your pores were like swimming pools for blackheads and oil, the way you saw life and boys (and/or girls) was changing, everything around you seemed to be flipped upside down, and you had to adjust to your new you?
Yeah, that wonderful phase—I’m back.
I’m not sure when it started, either time. I don’t remember my moods changing, but I do remember feeling out of place and hair growing in new places. I tried new styles, and I kept my interests a secret. I remember being excited about finally getting my period like my friends had and wanting nothing to do with my parents.
Now, my hair is grey, and my doctor says I’m experiencing signs of premenopause.
I’m barely in my 30s.
I’ve gained 50 pounds and lost my endurance. Confidence is at a low, and I want my parents, now, more than ever. My hormones are making me crazy every month, and my cycle is changing.
Oh, and my personal favorite: peeing when I cough.
This new body, what do I do with it? And how do I date with damage and children? I hope I’m clever enough to come up with a witty comment when I mess up my next first kiss.
Will there even be one?
I have no idea how to navigate this new version of me. I feel like I’m aging like rotten fruit and trying to turn it into fine wine.
No one warned me about this. There wasn’t a class to take that made me giggle, blush, or cringe.
Did you have to watch STD videos, too?
When did I turn into the grown-up? I feel like it’s the first week of a new semester with new halls to roam—except I don’t have a map that tells me which room to enter and when.
I feel like I’m with my 12-year-old self again, and we’re both asking, “What the f*ck is going on?”
Who am I? What do I like? What do I need? Have I learned anything? Am I applying my lessons and passing my tests? Is any of this normal?
Why do I feel like I’m starting over and entering a new existence within myself?
Because, I am.
I’m relearning everything about myself and life. I’m struggling to hold on and let go, figuring out how to adjust and find my place in the shuffling deck of cards I’ve been dealt. Entering a new phase.
I’m going through midlife puberty.