For the last 13 months I’ve looked at myself in sections. There’s my tummy, my teeth, my eyes, my feet. I think I was afraid to join the pieces in case I didn’t like what I saw. For the last week I’ve been forcing myself to look at myself as a person rather than a gathering of limbs and shapes. I’ve tried dressing up and wearing my old clothes. I’ve tried on non-maternity bras in department stores.
I saw the last year as slow uphill stumble to what I looked like pre-pregnancy, clawing back who I used to be. And that’s where my mistake was. I’m someone else now, and I’m perfectly happy with that.
I smile at my old self, permanently strapped into uncomfortable bras which consistently made my boobs sit far too close to my collarbone in perfect spheres. I don’t remember deciding that the softest parts of me should be moulded into solid round apple-like barbie boobs. When I tried on my old make up look I couldn’t figure out who I reminded myself of. Then it hit me just before going to sleep.
I remember declaring myself a feminist, whilst walking two miles to work and home again wearing heels. I remember stressing out over unmatching underwear and wondering what is the perfect knickers-to-bra ratio. I remember insecurity and foundation and cutting my legs with a razor and exfoliating my heels for ten minutes each morning and worrying about invisible lines I could see under my eyes. What a palaver!
I see myself whole now. With scars that I like and a body that has changed to welcome another. It’s time to move on.