It’s so strange, being a woman. We are celebrated for our youth, for our appearance – especially when slathered with too much makeup, for our children, our homes, and our ability to fill stomachs with edibles, and yet actually being a woman is mentioned in whispers.
Periods are kept quiet.
Menopause is kept quieter.
Even in today’s so-called modern society and the women’s lib and the feminism, women are still maintaining the status quo – doing what’s expected of them – trying to be like men, even to a point that we completely undermine ourselves and our Womanhood.
We use the word pussy to describe a weak person. How on earth did this ever happen? I don’t know about you, but a pussy is the strongest and most flexible thing I’ve ever come across. Now, a pair of testicles – the very thing strong people are supposed to have – they shrink away from a challenge every single time.
I’m not man-bashing, I’m just saying.
Why must we use this part of the female anatomy to put someone else down? When without it, we would all cease to exist?
It truly baffles me.
I’m going through menopause and it is like wading into dark waters, because no one ever talks about it. I have no idea what to expect. I had no idea that it actually starts in the mid-thirties with peri-menopause. I had no idea I’d be drying off my legs after a shower and see that suddenly my thighs look different or that I’d have wrinkles on my knees. I had no idea I’d get grey hairs – down there. I had no idea it caused dry skin. I had no idea that it might include insomnia.
Yet here I am, at six o’clock in the morning, having been awake since three o’clock, writing all of this to you so that maybe you won’t feel so blind-sided as I have been with all this.
The worst part isn’t even the aging stuff. I’m okay with most of it, although my aging thighs do make me cringe. The worst part is waking up at three o’clock in the morning with past decisions on my mind. I wake up remembering something stupid I did in my twenties and it just snowballs into what a horrible person I am and ultimately the message I receive is this: YOU ARE NOT WORTHY.
We all battle with this. I know this because I see it all over the internet. Women everywhere feel like they’re not enough. Like me, you shrink away from your life. You bite your tongue and then you finish your argument in the shower each morning for the next ten years. You get cosmetic work done to keep a man, or get a man, or to “feel better” about yourself. You wax every bit of hair, except what’s on your head. You’re crying in the bathroom and concealing it with fake smiles and concealer. You’re drinking and binging away your feelings. Or you’re living up to expectations, real or imagined, and not letting your true voice be heard.
All of this says: I’m not enough. I am not worthy. I’m sorry for who I am.
I’ve done many of these things and more, and this morning, as I lay awake in bed, with my lifetime of bad decisions rolling through my head, I realized I’ve had enough. I said, Look. You’re going through menopause. Menopause. You’re practically invisible in today’s world, with its youth obsession, so if you cannot live your life now, you’re never going to and it’s no one’s fault but your own.
I do not want to get to my grave and regret never living my life.
Maybe for many of us, menopause is the wake up call to life, rather than an alert to the end of it. We’re not on the wrong side of any age. We’re on the right side of a revolution that says, I am woman and I’m not fucking sorry about it. I’m not talking about feminism and changing the world and hating The Man. I’m talking about a personal revolution that empowers us to live our lives, on our terms, without apology.