I AM WOMAN... AGAIN.
It's baaaaack... After eight months of menstrual freedom, I am back amongst the cursed. It's a good thing. Must have been the week and a half of The Pill. Two days after I decided to stop taking it, things started up again so it must have worked. And while I am very relieved to be "normal" again, I really forgot how much it sucks.
[Mother Nature}: "Sheesh... there's just no pleasing her, huh?"
Due to a combination of heavy flannel pajamas and newly flowing hormones, I woke up at 4 AM yesterday, drenched in sweat. And wide awake. I lay there for a few minutes debating going back to sleep for an hour and waking up cranky, or just getting up. I decided to see what it would be like to go for a run at that early hour. I figured I was already sweaty - what the hell?
It was chilly out, but not unbearably so, and the full moon lit up the dark sky. It was almost magical. I set out on a route which I figured would be well lit, and was chugging along - carefree - for about a mile. Then I had a scary experience.
A Jeep Cherokee came creeping up behind me and a guy leaned out the window.
"Excuse me, Miss..."
Every adrenal gland in my body went into overdrive and for the first time in my life, I truly felt 'fight or flight' reactions. I kept running - didn't look at him.
"I'm in desperate need of a gas station. Do you know where one is?"
"Go back," I remember saying. "Go back that way -- go back."
"There's a gas station back there?"
"But is it open?"
And with that, I took off on legs I didn't know I owned. Legs I wish I'd owned back in Chicago during those last five miles.
Needless to say, he turned around and drove off. I'm not sure if he'd intended to abduct me - had I stopped to chat - or if he genuinely needed gas, but I'm certainly glad I didn't wait around to find out. Typically, I'm very helpful and hate to be rude to people. But at 4 AM, the rules change.
My nerves settled down after a mile or two and I began to enjoy my magical world, once again. The streets were bathed in moonlight while the town was tucked in bed. Only an occasional house window was lit, and I encountered no one except for a bread truck, a fox, and several cats. I ended up going about six miles, home in plenty of time to shower and get to school.
I thought a lot about my experience. How empowered and independent I'd felt being out running as the rest of the world slept. And how in one instant, everything could change and make me feel small and vulnerable. If he'd wanted to, Jeep Guy could have changed my whole life in many horrible ways.
It made me think.