Friday, April 2, 2010

puberty and the sequel, puberty two

So I was thinking... people have written books for girls in grade three and four that talk about their body. "Things are going to change" the book reads. And page by page it outlines what to expect and how to handle this new body that is emerging. New products are introduced. "Girls, you will want to buy deodorant. Keep your body clean and fresh."

But where is the training book for a woman who is in her second puberty? A book that says, "You will wake up tomorrow and not know who you are! Don't be afraid. This is normal. Remember when your mother started acting crazy and began eating her hair? She went through this stage too!" And the book could have pictures of bodily changes. "Hair will start growing in strange places. Don't be alarmed. Men will notice but since no one is lusting after you they likely won't pay any attention to it" and "if you've had children you are likely to begin to lose bladder control in certain situations. The key is to never ever under any circumstances join your grandkids on the trampoline. Ridiculously loud laughter might create this problem too but we do not recommend allowing a slightly damp situation keeping you from laughing your head off as it offsets your probable growing depression."

Actually - I am being silly but this season is about rediscovering a whole lot of new truth. Truth about beauty and comfortability in one's own skin. Truth about rhythms and practices of life that are not so jarring. Truth about how to understand others and engage them in ways that are not self referenced. Learning what peace means to one's own self, and pursuing it.

I find that I cannot live the life other's want me to live. I cannot be who others want me to be. If ever there was a season for a woman to know herself and be that person as fully and openly as possible, it is this season of puberty two.

But the up side (and it is big) is that there is less to compete about. Fewer people really care how I wear my hair or if my choices are eccentric. I think it was Elizabeth Taylor who said that fifty was glorious because one became invisible and could live life much more freely. (Obviously it didn't work that way for her, but for us plebes I think there is something in this.)

So women, we must stand up for each other's need to express our lives freely and with strength in very uniquely personal ways. Let's be the ones who say loud 'yes' to each other, and celebrate each one's choices and eccentricities and forget about competing, comparing, status and pecking orders. Who cares if the towels match? In this season become the artists, writers, dancers and lion tamers we were created to be.


Krissi said...

I feel like your life is a window into my future. I also feel like half this post is an echo of our Thursday evening conversation;)

Sandy & Rob said...

From a woman turning 50 next year... a couple of good "training manuals" for this stage... "The Second Stage" by Betty Friedan and "Revolution From Within" by Gloria Steinem. I am hoping to find the time to become that artist of my latter years soon. This is inspiration I must post on my fridge today Marilyn.

Marilyn said...

Another good one is "THE CHANGE" by Gloria Steinam (did I spell that right?) I have read lots... it just seems some days that there is no one talking about this and it is harder to find one's way on one's own.

Jill said...

and then there's the patch :) - Jill