A Belated Goodbye to my Breasts
It’s been a long road, girls. It’s hard to believe how far we’ve come, considering where we started.
Our relationship got off to a rough start. First of all, you were late. Once you arrived your presence was meek. A scrawny young girl waiting to shine with the curves of a woman. Disappointment was an understatement. I spent the better part of my teen years at odds with you. Like many young girls, we look in the mirror and see only the things we dislike. We haven’t learned how to look into a mirror and see beyond what we see as flaws.
And then my 20s hit. My figure not being what my mind told me was ideal, I still struggled with my lack of bustiness. This was the decade I spent perfecting the use of padded bras and strategically cut clothing to give even a subtle indication of curves. While the mirror still reflected all that I lacked, my perceptions changed. I started to see beyond my appearance and into my soul. And you became less important to me. Our negative relationship evolved into a non-existent one. And I was okay with that.
That changed in my 30s. It had to because this when we became allies. It began with my first child, then my second. I was amazed at your ability. While sometimes painful, I never faltered in my awe of what you were capable of. My body brought life into this world, and your magic nourished that life. It’s an indescribable feeling. This journey brought us together again. It was beautiful. When I looked in the mirror I saw the magic of a woman’s body.
Our love story ends there, quite abruptly, with a moment, and a lump. I felt it. I knew it wasn’t right. After everything we’d been through you betrayed me. Threatening the very life we built together. I was angry with you. Even still, we entered into war together. When the time came to say goodbye, I couldn’t. That morning, before they took you, we had a moment. I tried to connect with you and process the loss that was about to be bestowed upon me. It was difficult though, and I’m sorry. My overwhelming need to survive clouded my feelings for you and my ability to say a proper goodbye. I hope you can forgive me.
I just turned 40. A new decade of life. One you almost took away. But I forgive you. In fact, I want to thank you. Because of you, because of this battle we endured together, we are bonded by strength. I look in a mirror now and I see survival. I see past the scars and I see strength and endurance and I have never been prouder of this body.
The evolution of our relationship brought me to this place. Now when I look in the mirror, I see a warrior, a survivor. It’s the same mirror, with decades of different reflections. I’m proud of how far we’ve come.
So cheers to our 40s and all that it brings. Thank you.
Love always, Tanya McLaughlin