We first met when I was 13.
My mother told me that you’d be coming to visit, but it was still startling to see you for the first time.
I know that our relationship is quite rare. You come and go in my life as often as you do in the lives of everyone else, and yet I still feel a special connection to you.
Since our first meeting, you have arrived unexpectedly, you have brought me pain that sometimes lasted for days, and you have been responsible for some of my most embarrassing moments.
Like with all important relationships, it took me time to understand you and now I couldn’t be happier to have you around. I welcome your monthly visits because they have become a core part of how I experience life in my body. As I express these feelings, I also need to acknowledge that not all women share this experience and not everyone who does share this experience is a woman. I think it’s also important for me to point out that you have a painful relationship with many people which makes it near impossible for them to appreciate you.
I know I am one of the lucky ones who can welcome the small, pink spots on my face, the tender breasts and the unexplainable emotions that warn me of your arrival. I now am excited to see that first spot of red and to remove my cup from its soft, silk bag for the first time in 28 days.
I am lucky enough that I can celebrate your presence. You make me feel more connected with my body, the earth and the moon. Through you, I feel a stronger connection with those who bleed like me. The magic of how myself and those closest to me begin to bleed at the same time intrigues me. I’m amazed by how our bodies can find rhythm with each other simply because of the spaces we share.
When I realised that my body is not here to be consumed by others but rather for me to embrace and enjoy, it became something to worship rather than something to hate. Through seeing my body through this perspective, I began to understand the importance of my connection with you.
As women, as people, it’s apparent that what we know about our bodies has been taught to us by a culture that fears what they can’t control. We were led to misunderstand a process that we should celebrate, not shame. We have been told that these parts of ourselves are dirty, shameful and secret and because of this, we have been restricted from embracing the bodies we’ve been gifted.
I embrace these parts of myself, those that we have been taught to see as negative aspects of our bodies. I embrace them because it is so hard to learn to love ourselves, so when we do, we discover this power we never knew that we could have. We gain strength from loving the parts of ourselves that we have been taught to hate; this is how we take power from those who taught us to be ashamed of who we are.
I love you, my period, because having a healthy relationship with you challenges this culture that tells me, tells us, there is something inherently wrong with being a woman.