it doesn’t seem that long ago that i was a young woman with a baby in my arms, little fists fitting neatly into my own, breath of my breast and an infectious smile that appeared early. of course to say it wasn’t long ago is a bit of a lie, as it’s been nearly eighteen years.
today, nearing my mid-forties and a very different person, i find myself in-between dimensions. time seems to have sped up and i am facing my own mortality as if it were a lover. i have fallen so many times in the years between my baby’s midnight cries and his approaching graduation that i’m not even quite sure if i’ll be walking there or crawling. but i do know i’ll make it, whether it’s under the light of a southern sky or from behind the cover of a darkened and eternally masked visage.
my journey from then and there to here and now has been bumpy. i’ve grown and shrunk, fit in and stood out, fell down and climbed over; basically i’ve turned myself around more times than a spinning top in the hands of a wild-eyed youngster. disappearing, that has been different, less climactic, quieter, more revealing, yet terribly isolating. my actual self, a shrinking figure in a mirror hung so long ago i can’t remember why it was even chosen, its shape too small for any person to do much mirroring. like the mirror, i can hardly recall who stands before it most mornings, my body, bones mostly with very little extra flesh to speak of harshly.
untouched, sacred, THIS body has only been seen by my healthcare provider. no man has seen me disrobe and i can only laugh at what i spent years trying to achieve through the repetitiveness of running finally realized at the hands of a long-term love affair with darkness. food, always the enemy, not so much anymore. i don’t spend a lot of time thinking about it, eat only when i’m hungry, and refuse to deny myself the pleasure of ice cream because of extra skin hanging at my waist or thighs. those days have passed. the thoughts still exist, the what if’s: what if i get fat again, what if i can’t fit into my size 2 skinny jeans, what if i have to wear a real bra again? i try to push them away as often as possible but they lurk, triggers in the land of odd.
when i gave birth to my son i weighed almost 200 lbs. i’m only 5' tall. i was a round little thing with hardly any love for myself. today i weigh nearly half of that, have a healthy bmi and feel pretty good about my body. you’d think that would equate to happiness; wrong.
rather than stretch this out i’ll tie it up, neatly. the smaller i become the less there is of me to hate. shrinking away from everyone and everything, quickly initially, and then slowing down as the years have passed, i’ve found that if i can just squeeze into the tiniest of spaces i won’t hurt so much. there isn’t much of me left to lose and i’m quite cognizant of that, while also keenly aware of the abilities my tiny frame provides, like climbing trees, running at break-neck speed and disappearing in a flash.
eventually i’ll find the shape of my elderly aunts in that ******* mirror, but for now i’d rather grow invisible, tiny, forgotten.