The “Other girl” came to visit me today…
She came in a suitcase, long packed away in dark corners
Forgotten but not yet gone.
With her she bought memories of days past
Sharp black suits.
Crisp white shirts.
The click of high heels coming out of an elevator.
The swirl of perfume in the air.
Made up face.
The girl tells me about her life,
How confident she feels on her path.
All she wants to achieve in her career.
How full her bank account is and all she can do with it.
She tells me she knows what she wants.
Where she is going.
How to get there.
She is so self assured.
So I decide to try on her clothes to experience her good life.
– But they don’t fit.
Even if I suck in my breath, I can no longer squeeze into
That sharp black suit
– My life of colour too big for her suit
My barefoot days unsuitable for her heels
I try on her white shirt,
But it is not crisp on me.
White is not a colour I know.
The colour of spilt juice, and food smears – now those I know!
I do not know the feeling of self assuredness she emits.
I question everything I do.
All day long.
I only know the feeling of a child’s hand in mine.
Two innocent eyes looking up at me with love saying
“Mummy, I love you so much. I’m so proud of you.”
A husbands warm embrace.
Those are my assurance.
Her perfume makes me sneeze a little.
I am only used to the smells of this home.
Not always pleasant smells.
And that is my favourite scent.
I know not the full bank account she speaks of.
The free spending.
Our budget is lean,
Full of rent to pay, utilities, debt and mortgage repayments.
Just room for the necessities and no else.
But I do know a full heart.
So I tell her of that,
I tell her of my life…
My clothes of colour and comfort;
Of *ahem* elastic waists and loose fitting dresses.
Bare feet more often than not, or
Flat shoes made for chasing.
The fragrances of my life;
Freshly shampoo’d hair squashed against my face in embrace.
Paint, playdough and crayons.
Getting through the day
Keeping my children fed, warm, clean
My “Working lunches”;
Of easy food
Eaten with smiles.
The soundtrack of my life;
Music to dance to.
Heart melting giggles,
Caused by tickles, chasing, funny faces,
Or just because.
Then the quiet snores of a child sleeping in my arms.
Mine is not a life without challenges
Nor I’m sure is hers.
But today we just tell of the good bits
And leave it at that.
Once I’m finished sharing
We stare at each other, this other girl and I
Not quite sure what to say to each other.
Our worlds grown too far apart.
The gap in our thinking too wide.
She looks at me in disbelief-
The girl doesn’t understand how those are my goals,
How “just that” can be enough for me.
But I assure her that they are.
– That is all.
So I lean over and kiss her softly goodbye.
I help her fold up that sharp black suit and crisp white shirt,
Of memories forgotten but not yet gone.
I bid farewell to the “Other girl”
The other me.
The life once had.
It has been nice to have her visit, but now it’s time to let her go.
No longer to suitcases dark and forgotten.
But this time to set her free…