This morning, I changed clothes not less than five times, each leaving me feeling frumpier than the last. Settling on a clean shirt version of yesterday's outfit, I rebutted my inner mean girl, recalling a friend's compliment.
However, my inner bully persisted, suggesting no one liked me despite my phone dinging with texts from multiple friends. And just as I thought empirical evidence had shut her up for good, she resurfaced as I entered a coffee shop, returning to the outfit that wasn't cute enough for a potential crush encounter.
That's when my brain signaled a warning: "Hormones have taken over. Proceed with caution."
I pulled out my phone to check my app––three days late.
I'm convinced my PMS brain is stuck in middle school––the age I was when I started my period. Not a time I would voluntarily revisit.
An era marked by hormonal turbulence, insecurity, and unwarranted messages of being too tall, big, loud, and different––middle school was fucking hard.
Prepubescent boys taunted "ogre" as I walked down the hall. Unable to shrink myself and hide inside my locker, I tried to change my outsides to gain the love and approval I was so desperately seeking.
Once, I showed up at my mom's hairdresser with a torn page from Vogue, convinced that Linda Evangelista's haircut would solve all my problems.
Yup, that awful haircut only made things worse.
They say perimenopause is puberty in reverse. And that makes sense with my face full of those deep, painful pimples (you know, the ones with their own pulse) agonizing cramps, heavier, longer bleeding, and all too often accidents that make me feel like I'm trapped in the girl's bathroom, desperately looking for a sweatshirt to wrap around my waist. Thank Goddess, someone invented period panties.
The hardest part is my confident middle-aged self gets replaced with a younger, insecure version.
I think the PSA with the guy frying an egg warning us not to take drugs would have been a lot more useful if it had gone something like this:
Shoulder pad-clad, big-haired blonde woman holds up an egg and says, "This is your brain," before motioning to a frying pan and adding, "This is hormones." She then cracks the egg into the frying pan with her acrylic nails and says, "This is your brain on hormones." And then looks at the camera and says, "Ladies, don't trust your thoughts during PMS."
Unlike my younger self, I know my face and thoughts will clear up in a few days. Until then, I'll hit pause on any decisions, especially those related to boys or bangs.