How I experienced Menopause for the first time

I just witnessed  Menopause..…a musical. I have never sat through something so predominantly feminine, so outrageously funny and so deeply honest.With a cast of four middle-aged women belting out new words to old but familiar tunes all about the unfortunate affects of menopause, I was lost in a theater of women whose laughter and tears gave me goosebumps. From hot flashes to cellulite, mood swings to low libido, I got Menopause 101.

Has the theatric experience made me excited to approach that stage in life? Not in the least, but to witness a crowd of women so obviously sharing in the same experience, one identifying you as a woman, was truly liberating and empowering.

In the final number, “This is Your Day,” the cast came busting through the set in black dresses with sparkling diamonds hanging from their ears, their necks and their hands. Another round of goose bumps. These women were beautiful, confident and caring. They sang to the women in the crowd pulling up all those who had experienced menopause and were ready to celebrate what it meant to be a woman. Rows of women piled onto the stage to can-can while others sat in their seats clapping to the rhythm smiling, laughing and crying as they watched their sisters, friends and peers up on stage.

Everyone in the theater came to share the experience and the laughter in what it means to be a woman of middle-age. And in a culture where we promote youthfulness and degrade aging, Menopause put the focus on the beauty in aging, the beauty in changing, the beauty in growth, and the beauty in womanhood and sisterhood. It was truly phenomenal.

As a young woman who looks up to the older women in my life for support, guidance, and love, I felt closer to them, whether they were there with me or not. Somewhere on that stage someone represented the women who have the largest impact on me, and those women are beautiful regardless of their age and regardless of their bodies. I want them to embrace themselves as I embrace them, and as this cast and audience also embraced themselves and this experience that is so tragically and wonderfully feminine.    

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