It’s real. It’s on. It’s happening.

Just like my mom. On the verge of 45.

I’m spotting.

Pretty sure I’m getting hot flashes, too.

To be honest, I’m surprised at how well I’m handling it.

I guess it’s because I haven’t really considered myself a young woman since my early thirties, anyway.

Also, I know I still look pretty young. My ladies at the salon couldn’t believe my age when I told them. “Oh my God, you look like a kid!”

That’s what my friend Jackson said, too, but that was in my mid-thirties. At the time I wasn’t sure if he was just being polite. I guess now I know.

I’m sorry, friends, I feel like I can’t tell you enough about my youthful looks, like I hammer it down your throats. I am incredibly boastful about this.

But it’s kinda all I’ve got, right now.

Don’t get me wrong. I like my haircut. It’s cute. She did a good job. All those ladies do. But I do think my bangs are too short, and that it would be a cuter haircut on me if I was thinner.

Is that horribly cruel and self-loathing? Do I sound just like my aunt after she’s had a few? Do you see how I can brag about and shame myself practically in the same breath?

It’s totally sick, I 100% recognize that.

This shit is hardwired into my brain. I know I can change it. Just…how? I want the answer, desperately.

I just don’t know what it is.

With what, exactly, do I replace all the nasty, mean self-talk? What precise words do I say to myself instead? And do I have to believe them right away?

I am a beautiful woman.

I am a beautiful person.

I am not the number on my scale.

I am not my waist circumference.

I am not my dress size.

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