I used to stand on my hands, And wear bikinis that hardly passed as clothing. I used to wake up when I pleased And eat when I felt like it. I used to sip my coffee slowly as the sun inched peacefully from the horizon to the sky.
I used to lay on the beach for hours Reading tattered hardcovers I found at thrift stores for three dollars and a smile. I used to forgo undergarments because it made me feel freer than I already was. I used to walk with my head high, shoulders back, and the corners of my lips curled toward the clouds. I used to drink even if it wasn’t five o’clock somewhere.
I used to lounge in my underwear while watching countless hours of “Sex and the City” reruns eating Biscoff from the jar. I would waste far too much time exfoliating with homemade coffee scrub, removing every last hair below my neck, moisturizing, and primping— All for a Wednesday night.
I used to carelessly toss my clothing about my room when I knew damn well I would wear something black and skimpy. I would drive with my windows down and music loud. I used to feel sexy as the scent of coconut oil on my bronzed skin filled the car. I used to frequent the bar at our local Italian restaurant and drink red wine until my lips were the color of this dress.
I used to write things that I thought people gave a damn about. I used to write things that I thought I gave a damn about— Things that I thought were important.
But, the truth is, I knew nothing of anything of importance until I met her. Until my abdomen was cut in half and my daughter took her first breath. Then all of the things I used to be faded, like putting creamer in coffee.
I used to be sexy, bold, and confident. Now, I am a gentle creator, A soft healer, A patient teacher, An eager student, A fierce protector.
Now, I sustain the life of a human being with my own body. Now, I am a mother— My most important role.
Now, I am strong.
Author: Shawn Rae Image: Author’s Own; Courtesy of Brittany Borders Editor: Leah Sugerman