Sometimes when I see myself, I’m shocked at my reflection. I don’t recognize that woman. Maybe its because I’ll always see myself as a 20-something and I’m very much not. Maybe its a metaphysical dichotomy between my spirit and body.
This morning as I was drying off, I had a strange physical sensation. The way my flesh hung off my body felt like I was wearing an oversized sweater. The saying ‘comfortable in her own skin’ came to mind because I *wasn’t* in that moment. I’m not ashamed of my body. It just physically didn’t feel right.
It made me think about how many times my body has transformed. We are designed to change. Our cells turn over so rapidly that we are not the same person we were six months ago. Its a bit baffling how our cells are constantly regenerating, yet they have memory. I still have that weird mole, those achy feet, and wrinkles that get deeper each week.
After having babies, celebrity women talk about “getting their body back”. Sure, I’d like to fit into those pants again, but I know that there is no going “back”. Not only have all of my organs and bones rearranged, expanded and contracted, but I have entirely transformed. Sure I’m recognizable. But I’m not the same person I was before Flora. Before Millie. Before Georgia. Before the lost ones. Motherhood has transformed me at a cellular, spiritual, and mental level. I’m sure I was being changed before then, too, but it wasn’t quite so… drastic.
Sometimes I want to freeze life as it is NOW. The future has so many big challenges and unknowns. But something inside tells me that freedom is found by embracing that we were designed for change.
Sometimes I get so anxious worrying about my family members – Most of it stems from knowing how much I have to lose. Change can feel a lot like loss. Change is rarely comfortable. But change is also the only route toward progress.
I guess I can find comfort in the fact that our cells do have memory. Through all of the regenerations, my cells remember to make me look like Christy. Even when my memory struggles to recall the details of what happened last year (or last night), my cells have somehow recorded all of the wonders I’ve experienced – from the sound of laughter downstairs, the sensation of a baby hiccuping inside of me, to the smell of the great pyramids of Egypt. My body is an ever changing universe that carefully catalogues every experience, but moves me involuntarily toward progress. And yes, I’m calling white hair and wrinkles progress; especially because they come with empathy derived from experience, and joy that doesn’t require perfection.