Confession 13: Cycles of Life

There are many different cycles we see and experience in life. There’s the overarching life cycle which frames all that we do. There are cycles of relationships and cycles in relationships. There are cycles of days and cycles of time. There are cycles of seasons and cycles of celebrations. There are religious cycles and political cycles. Our lives are lived in cycles, not linear at all. I started thinking about cycles a few weeks ago, when my monthly cycle began again after an absence of 18 months. This cycle is one in which most women live the majority of their lives. Different women feel different things about this cycle. Most of us are excited when it first begins. It is a rite of passage for young women, a mark of change and growth, of maturing. It begins a new phase in life. Over time, the newness wears off, and it becomes, for me at least, more of a pain than anything else. I know there are women out there who eagerly anticipate the continuation of this cycle. For them, it means that things are going smoothly and there is no major life-change on the way. I also know that there are women out there who just as eagerly anticipate the end of this cycle. For them, it means that something new is taking place, a much-hoped for life is beginning to grow, or a new stage in life is taking place. In general, this cycle is the beginning of something.

Yet for me, the return of my cycle felt more like an end. It was sad, not because I would have to start paying attention to the calendar again and making sure I was well stocked-up on various feminine hygiene products, but sad because it means that life is moving on, and my baby boy is growing up. I realize, of course, that he’s only 9 months old. It’s not like he’s getting a driver’s license or going off to college, but those things will come. He’s already changed and grown so much. In 9 months he’s tripled his birth weight, gotten teeth, lost his baby-face and begun to crawl. His existence is no longer wrapped up within me, and my body has recognized that and moved on. I know it’s not a big deal in the grand scheme of things. I know that at some level he’ll always be my little baby boy, and that we’ve got lots of new things to look forward to. I know that cycles are circular and always come back around. I know this is really a beginning, and not at all an end. But, as with all cycles, there is something left behind. And in this moment, it’s hard to let it go.

Blessings and Peace,