Then and Now

Today, I remember being a bride. Like many young brides, I’d planned the perfect day which of course included the perfect version of me. Life keeps changing, princess to bride to young mum, to superhero to middle age. The changes physical, emotional and mental can be confronting. At times we don’t recognise ourselves.


then and now

my baby cried and I rocked her

the kitchen bench drowned under a pile of dishes

I faded in and out, drunk on fatigue

who am I?

my life, like my body looked foreign

big breasts with stretch marks leaked on my tee-shirt

my stomach felt like blancmange

my baby cried and I rocked her on the softness

she grew, exploring the world

taking me enchanted on her discoveries

asking questions, wanting to know everything about everything

topic to topic to topic, all in five minutes

I found time to trim the excess

mess, body, boobs and expectations

she grew and we explored the world

I fell pregnant and my belly swelled

faster and bolder it declared itself to the world

I loved it, knowing life grew within me

sacred and precious

my body would stretch to breaking point

skin splitting, then shrinking like a shrivelled walnut

pregnancy over, my belly deflated

among the joy, the fatigue, the drunken numbness of sleepless nights

bits of my relationship with myself re-emerged

on the inside I felt the same

thought the same, had my dreams and aspirations

but my body became a foreigner

someone I no longer recognised

someone who no longer responded to exercise snapping into line

that foreigner moved in

overshadowing the me I used to know

it rested uneasily on my husband’s sideways glances at young, fit girls

I worked hard at regaining what I’d valued

an adolescent in skinny mode

fatigue and food and lack of free time

sabotaged my resolve and my dedication

I became a soft middle-aged mother of two stunning girls

their beauty flared like flames licking pine needles

slender legs, taut muscles, short skirts and high heels

I felt older, odd unlike myself

somewhere I’d lost me, left her behind years ago

rivers of change took me with them

turning me into this person, the one I am now

greys come, so many that pulling them out is futile

lines come, laughter lines soften the fact

that wrinkles are wrinkles

I look at photos of me now, remembering the white

watermark taffeta gown blown back by a gust of wind

on our wedding day

and there I  am 35 years younger my mind


2 thoughts on “Then and Now

  1. I guess in truth, it is a struggle to come to terms with the changes . Many deny it, many,many more try to fake it,but in the end…this is the process of life. It is the journey, the calling that we must all adhere to.Fighting it is futile,though at times that makes us even more confused. We remember who we were,how we felt,but that is time wasted on not embracing who we are now, who we have become. Letting go of things is hard…letting go of our old self is harder,learning to love our new self, harder still. It takes time, support and understanding to get to the point where we are at peace with who we are. Beautiful and heartfelt Merima, well done.


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