BY TARYN JEREZ
I’ve always had a strange relationship with you, to say the least. If I’m being honest, we can replace “strange” with straight up unhealthy.
I’ve spent nearly all of my adult life, adolescence, and even childhood spending time and energy trying to change you. Surely there’s a way to figure out how to take what was given to me and chip away until I find the body that I was really meant to have. (It has to be here somewhere, right?) Too many days spent feeling like a child looking in a funhouse mirror at the fair trying to find the view she likes best but none of them seeming quite right.
This season of my life spent carrying this sweet baby is somehow different. I’ve learned a lot about you, this body of mine that I’ve lived in for just over three decades.
The same body which tried to sabotage me with cancer at age five, the one that’s lost and gained the same twenty-five pounds over six times, whose skin carries five surgical scars, whose midsection and thighs felt like a puzzle to be solved, the one I spent hours in therapy trying to appreciate and really “see” even after finally losing those 50 lbs, the one that I blamed for not being able to keep our first baby healthy past eight weeks or conceive again for nearly two years…
I am so sorry. I hope you feel the sincerity in this apology the same way I feel the weight of a lifetime of trash talking to you.
How did I never realize how amazing you are?
The irony is not wasted on me, that it wasn’t until you became a home for something that I felt at home in you. I’ve seen you grow, felt you shift, and get stronger with so much intention and purpose.
I have felt more empowered in this body during these nine months than I have in my entire life. I’ve shown you love for the first time. (Strange considering the scale has never been higher and all these new stretch marks have come out to say hello.) Yet here I am, realizing just how amazing you were all along and thanking you for what you’ve done for me in this season. You’re kind of a badass.
So, where do we go from here? When you change once again without warning and the home my son has known inside you is gone? Will we go back to before?
Instead, I think I’ll choose to love you still. You may feel the familiarity of uncertainty in my thoughts some days as you evolve into what comes next, but let the abundance of appreciation echo from these moments. I’ll do my best to show up for you with the same grace you’ve always deserved and shown me all these years.