To say it’s been a journey is a mild understatement. To say it’s felt like a complete shit show … well, that sounds more on point to me.
“Wait, what is Candy talking about?” you might be asking yourself right now.
Well, let me tell you … I’m talking about the mighty “M” word.
That’s right, I want to talk you about menopause.
Now before you run away screaming (especially you men who tune in), hear me out.
It’s time we lean into this conversation. It’s time we stop avoiding the reality of how menopause affects our … well, everything.
Ladies, it is truly a game-changer in all aspects of your life. There are things I want you to know; there are ways we can lean in together.
Gentlemen, if you have a woman (or women) in your life that you truly care about, you will want to buckle up and hear what I have to say. Your relationships might just depend on it.
You see, I want to look that bitch square in her eyes, call her bullshit , bring her to the forefront, shine a light on how she operates and the chaos she creates, and lay all my cards out on the table in the process.
Because when I say it’s been a shit show, I actually think I'm being kind.
This is where raw, real, and gritty take on a whole new level.
Over the course of the past year, menopause has completely turned my life upside-down, inside-out, and spun me in twisted directions I didn’t even know were possible.
Nothing is the same as it once was, and everything has been altered.
And, the part that I find most fascinating about all of this is that no one has been talking about her … until now.
Like we did not discuss the “M” word growing up.
At least not in my house, or with any of my friends.
Hell, I remember researching it a few years back when I first started having regular symptoms and then racing out of my bedroom to share my findings with my mom (she was visiting for the Christmas holiday), when I popped off: “What the fuck! What is this … what do you mean menopause, in it’s entirety (perimenopause, menopause, and post-menopause) is a thing that can last up to 10 years or more for a woman!”
My mom looked at me and laughed, then she said, “What did you think it was? How long did you think menopause lasted?”
I responded, “Like you get it … and have 6 weeks of inconvenience or something.”
To which my mom laughed even harder. She truly thought this was comical.
“Yeah, no … I don’t think it works that way.” she replied, a little too amused at my naivety.
“Well, I didn’t sign up for this I assure you.” I shot back. “I want to see the contract I signed coming into this world, because I seriously don’t have time for this shit.”
Yep, I truly thought the Universe owed me a huge explanation on this revelation.
And, that is the honest truth about how I viewed menopause … that is, until I started to go through it, myself, and found out it is an entirely different experience.
This, I find, is the experience many women are having, too.
I mean I do love that we are starting to talk about it. I have friends who this is their life’s work … to educate women, and men, of the effects of menopause. I love that.
Because it truly does affect everything: our mental capacity, our work, our emotions, our hormones, our bodies, our relationships … absolutely everything.
Maybe it’s because I am experiencing it, and my attention is focused on it, I feel like I am hearing more and more women talk about menopause. You know kind of like when you start thinking about a Range Rover, and then all of the sudden you start seeing Range Rovers at every stoplight.
Ah, the power of attraction. What we focus on expands.
Now, don’t say I didn’t warn you when you start seeing Range Rovers everywhere … hahaha.
Anyway, I digress … back to what I was saying.
Whatever the reason, there seems to be more women stepping forward to talk about their journey with menopause. Perhaps it’s because us Gen Xers are all coming of age, and with social media we have more outlets to connect and share our stories.
Or, perhaps it’s because, we are more visible and everything is documented, like a reel I recently caught of Drew Barrymore on her own show where she experienced her first perimenopausal hot flash in front of millions of viewers.
Whatever the reason, we are talking about it.
Women are coming forth and sharing their stories.
So, I thought it was time I shared mine, as well.
Especially, because there are several things I’ve learned thus far (while I am still going through it all first-hand as I write this).
The #1 thing I’ve learned as I am fully immersed in the menopause experience is:
Menopause is a different journey for every women.
That’s the reality … she kicks the shit out of some of us, and barely ruffles feathers for others.
Some of us get to reassess, experiment with, and reevaluate everything in our lives, thus making major changes to our diet, routines, fitness regimens, sleep, how we work, and our overall capacity to show up in life.
And, what works for one woman may not (or will not) work for another. There’s a ton of trial-and-error in the process of rediscovery.
It’s not a one-size-fits-all, cookie-cutter approach.
That being said, there are a few things that apply for all of us. Here are a few things I have found to be universal truths in this journey of the mighty “M” word:
1. Embrace the understanding that your journey through menopause is just that … YOUR journey: It’s not one anyone can prescribed a set path for you to follow. It’s one you have the opportunity (yes, opportunity) to explore for yourself.
2. There is some beautiful discovery along the path: It truly is a journey and invitation (if you accept it) to come back home to yourself. For so many women, we have been programmed away from our truest natures, from the alignment and authenticity of who we are. I have found this journey to be a “coming home” experience for me. A path of celebrating my body through self-love and compassion.
3. Creating space and grace is essential: Practicing gentleness and kindness for yourself is an absolute must in this process. Whether it be in the foods you choose to nourish your body, being more mindful to re-regulate your hormones, paying attention to what your body truly needs, by practicing more ease in how you move your body, or allowing yourself more sleep to let your ever-changing body and energy be replenished.
4. We can learn from each other by sharing our stories: We can let ourselves take up space and ask for what we need. We can share our truths to help other women experiment and navigate their own journeys. We can take the shame and stigma out of the topic of menopause and start inviting into to conversations, breathing life into it’s truth.
5. And, lastly we can lift each other up: We can support our sisters, our mothers, our aunts, our daughters, our cousins, our friends, and our colleagues. Women and men, alike, can create safe spaces of connection, conversation, empathy, and support.
With that, I plan to continue to speak my story. This is only a little piece of the conversation for change I am choosing to bring forward. Sometimes it helps to pull the curtain back, to gain access to behind-the-scenes where the raw, real and gritty live.
It is my intention to share this journey with you, as one of the stories I get to tell. So, stay tuned as this is only Part 1 of a multiple part series on the topic of menopause and how she is (and has) affected my life, and business, thus far.
It’s a journey, y’all … and, one I am inviting you to join me on.
With deep respect and reverence,