This is the “Who Am I” post. I have to imagine that all women go through this question while carrying around some strange alien inside their body. Over the past 7 months this question has crept up but usually been squelched easily enough. This time it’s not so easy.
I’m what most would consider a strange one: tattooed, pierced, strange hair, clothes, and make-up. But pregnancy (and unemployment) has stripped that out of me. The tattoos and piercings are still there, but the clothes, hair, make-up that used to make me – ME! have all but disappeared. I had to stop bleaching my hair and, in order to not look an absolute disaster, dyed it brown so my roots wouldn’t be so noticeable. I can’t wear any make-up, my attempts to do so resulted in bright red burning skin. My skin is dry, and sensitive and blotchy. Almost every face cleanser and moisturizer I’ve tried has burned too. Can I even begin to describe the pain when I tried to use sunscreen, which us preggos are supposed to use because our skin is extra sensitive? After so many dollars wasted and tearful attempts to get the products off my face I stopped trying anything at all because nothing helps. And then there’s clothing. Being a goth, raver, punky, grrr, stompy mix of a cycling girl makes it pretty hard to find any clothing that really matches my personality. Add to that most clothes just look like a MuuMuu on me or are jersey knit and make my butt look like Texas on an acid trip.
Trying to look like ME! has been an experiment in heartbreak. I haven’t felt like having cute prego photos taken of me every week to show how my bump has grown. I haven’t felt like I’ve got that beautiful pregnancy glow. Every photo I see of me makes me miss the ME! of old more and more. In order to keep myself from getting to upset I packed up all my favorite clothes and sent them to my father’s house for storage during my pregnancy. Seeing them in my closet left me sad and mopey and I would keep trying to try them on in hopes I could wear a Belly Band and make it all work. It never did.
Cycling hasn’t been that kind to me either. I am biking still. I haven’t given that up, but I certainly can’t bike like I used to and that throws me into an even more unhappy state. I like being the girl who takes on Michigan Avenue at 25 mph during rush hour. I like racing through town on my road bike dressed in knee length jeans and crazy patterned socks. I follow the rules of the road and bike safe, I just bike with passion. But being pregnant and on a commuter style bike, I ride about 10 mph now which is just sad. I know that it’s just because I can’t bend over and someone else is taking most of my energy. But I think about after I have the baby and wonder when will I be able to ride like that again?
So I’ve been banished to a life of looking like a mediocre run-of-the-mill average girl with a less than gratifying physical activity level that does nothing but depress me. Everything a pregonaut goes through during this period of life is scary and disturbing enough, but the real fear, for me, is that this change is permanent, because I don’t want it to be. I don’t know who I am right now; like my life has been put into it’s own little limbo womb within the universe just waiting to pop me out sometime in January too. My hope is that my rebirth is one that inspires me to workout even more and get back to the physical place I would have been at quickly; that that new person is healthier than before and other than that, I can go back to enjoying all the things that I loved about ME! Mostly, I hope that by finding myself again and being the ME! I love, I’ll teach my little girl to be proud of who she is and not let the world tell her who she has to be.