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According to Wonderopolis.org; Several time in a snake’s life, a snake‘s skin reaches a point where further growth is not possible. Therefor snakes shed their skin to allow for further growth and to remove parasites that may have attached to their old skin.
I was that snake as I entered my forties, “covered in parasites.” I was stressed, depressed, and afraid of the unknown. I was terrified of growing older, stressed out from doing things I was getting absolutely no joy from, and simply stated I was lost. My inner compass was broken and I couldn’t seem to find North no matter how hard I looked. Big changes were needed, my soul was yearning for them.
No one really talks about having to come to grips with entering the next stage of your life, and saying goodbye to my fertility. This life change was a big hurdle for me. Logically, I knew I didn’t want to have any more children, but I didn’t want my doctor, my body, or father time to tell me that. I wanted the power, the choice, the ability to create life to be my decision. So very much of my adult life had been centered around having children, and to not be able to have babies anymore was a big bruise to my self-worth. All of a sudden for the first time in two decades I found myself alone at home all day. To some of you that sounds like Nirvana , and don’t get me wrong it was fun at first. I filled my days with volunteering, lunches, and child free unencumbered trips to target. But after a while I slowly became burned out from compulsively volunteering, unfulfilled, and lonely.
I became that distended snake that was covered in “parasites”… emotional scars, stress, and struggling with depression. I needed to make changes and big ones. I needed to “shed my old skin.”
I stopped doing things that were no longer bringing me joy. I started to shed the need to say “Yes” to everything. I only do now what I love doing. I don’t succumb to “mom” pressure and I refuse to give reasons or make up an excuse if I can’t make it to something. As a 42-year-old woman, I don’t need to give an excuse for an absence. Why do we, as grown adult women feel the need to make excuses for ourselves to others? A respectful, polite decline or regret will suffice; and if it doesn’t, isn’t that the other person’s problem?
I shed the part of me that seeks other people’s approval. I reminded myself over and over until it became a mantra “It is none of my business what other people think of me.” This turned off the pettiness inside my own brain. This short and sweet mantra put an end to the insecurities I felt around other women. I stopped competing to be the best, the prettiest, the busiest and only compete with myself now. I am who I am, love me or leave me, and if you choose to leave that’s ok, It wasn’t meant to be.
As I get older I have finally realized it is the quality of the friends in my tribe, not the quantity. I want to be surrounded by my “sister friends” who will climb out of bed with gloves and a shovel at midnight if I need them, no questions asked… (kidding.. maybe 😉 Or if I get in a car accident they will find my phone and delete my Amazon account before my husband sees it.
I have shed my fear and my victim skin. I have forgiven the violators who abused and emerged a stronger person for it. I can talk about my experiences now and can educate others about the warning signs I saw but chose to ignore. I have not only done this for my children I have done this for my personal growth. I forgave my abusers but I will never forget. There is a difference, know the difference and don’t get cemented in your anger, rise above and evolve.
Shed your “parasites” your insecurities, grow stronger from your fears, evolve from your pettiness and embrace the next stage in your life with dignity, grace and vigor. Glide into your 30’s, 40’s, or whatever the case may be as the beautiful anaconda you were meant to be and crush it ladies!