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Sometimes I want to feel like a child, sometimes I want to feel like a woman. But I never seem to be the right age at the right time.

Sometimes I want to feel like a child, sometimes I want to feel like a woman. But I never seem to be the right age at the right time.

Published Jan 10, 2024 Updated Jan 10, 2024 Wellness
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Sometimes I want to feel like a child, sometimes I want to feel like a woman. But I never seem to be the right age at the right time.

Or: The tribulations of Awareness of Myself and Perception of Others, two best enemies with a magical rivalry (Episode 1: Never a Woman at the Right Time).

Part 1

In the supermarket that day, I play-pretend at being a businesswoman; back straight, basket defying the gravity at the very edge of my fingertips, eyebrows slightly furrowed on an almost perfect poker face. I compare prices per kilo while adjusting fictitious glasses on the tip of my nose. I throw my future purchase into the basket with a quick, brisk gesture. The gesture of a woman well-grounded in business -I tell myself.


That’s until a store employee decides to break my fantasy by adding a "yooplah!" to my throw. A yooplah dedicated to me. A Mary Poppins-style "yooplah", a cheer for children. My script is turned upside down. My back suddenly becomes less stiff. I grasp the basket with both hands and flash an embarrassed smile as the round glasses I'd just created on my nose disappear from sight. I delicately remove my mental tie and head to pay for my pack of cereals with hesitating feet, half limping, unable to remember my adult gait. Suddenly, everything around me appears bigger.

Part 2

On the street, I sometimes long to be just a child. Music in my ears, I stare at the passers-by and the houses around me, imagining a thousand lives. My body baths in an oversized jacket and my hands barely protrude from their respective sleeves. My hair is caught in the wind, taking away from me any need to feign -even an attempt- of a respectable hairstyle. I think of all the times nature got the better of us as children. How getting dirty was the mark of a good day, how cheeks were flushed from playing with all our might, how dirt stuck under my fingernails didn't bother me.


At this precise moment, a passer-by decides to look me up and down, smiling insistently, staring with no subtlety. My scenario is turned upside down. The shirt I was floating in a moment ago no longer covers me. My whole body feels exposed, trapped in a suit of skin, molded to the strange silhouette formed by the combination of my muscles, my fat, and my bones. I don't know how to move anymore, my every step feeling like an invitation to be scrutinized. 
I pull myself together; grow taller, quicken my pace, and lock an empty gaze on the horizon. Finally, in the manner of a businesswoman who just fired all her accounting staff, I stop smiling. Why does everything suddenly appear smaller now?

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