Hello and welcome to my magical little forest. I’m so glad to have you join me.
My name is Yael and in my forties, I’m finally trying to unearth the wild wolf that lives within me. Like a good little girl, I hid her away most of my life, trying so hard to follow conventional paths.
But those efforts got me nowhere. Just before I turned 40, the man that I thought was my life partner left me for a woman half my age. My entire world crumbled in just one moment.
So I did it. I took the leap. I’m dating now.
Okay, okay, that’s not entirely accurate. I have not gone on a single date, and in a pandemic, I don’t know if I’ll go anywhere beyond Zoom.
But this is a big step for me, so just let me have this, okay? I need the boost of confidence.
So…yes. I’m dating now.
This isn’t the first time I’ve tried this since my ex left. But for some reason, it feels more significant this time around. After a year in pandemic isolation, I’m not fucking around anymore. I need someone…
I woke up on Valentine’s Day crying. I’d had a dream about my ex-boyfriend in which he’d ignored me all day and yelled at me when I asked him to pay attention to me on this day of celebrating love. Later, he presented me with a bouquet of dyed carnations (I hate carnations and I hate dyed flowers) that were still wrapped in a grocery store bag.
“See?” he said, chiding me. “I made this huge romantic gesture for you and you were being such a bitch all day. Don’t you feel bad now?”
I cried in the dream, heartbroken…
When I was a little girl, I was obsessed with breasts. I thought they were so beautiful — the pinnacle of womanhood. My sister and I regularly stuffed washcloths into our bathing suits so we could run around the backyard pretending to be She-Ra or Wonder Woman.
I was also sexually obsessed with them. There was something about them that seemed…overwhelmingly hot, for lack of a more precise phrase. Some kids were all about peeking at genitals, but nah. I couldn’t have cared less about other people’s vulvas or penises. …
Recently, a friend of mine was talking about how much she needs to have strong men in her life. Masculine. Powerful. Financially successful. She likes to date men like that and likes to be surrounded by them, in general. Not exclusively, of course. She just wants them to be a regular presence in her life.
“I need that,” she told me. “As a woman, I need that. Sometimes, I need to feel protected. I want to be able to just let go. I want to be able to let him hold me, keep the world at bay for just…
I feel compelled to paint. To take photographs. To make things that are pleasing to look at.
I’ve always had this compulsion. Admittedly, it is second to my compulsion to write, but not far behind.
I started taking nature photographs several years ago, when I began owl watching. It might sound like a simple task, but it’s actually quite difficult. Somehow, you have to get just the right ISO and shutter speed to make sure your image isn’t too dark or blurred by your subject’s movement. You have to find just the right spot that is close enough for you…
I recently scrolled through the list of book picks of Reese’s Book Club. I was looking for something good to read and since I can never stay on schedule with book clubs, I always have a whole backlog to get through at any given moment.
My eyes landed on Erotic Stories of Punjabi Widows. I laughed. Of course I would notice that one. Well, what the hell? It was available at my library and I figured it would be funny and cute, so why not?
Interestingly, I did not think it would be erotic. For one thing, it’s a book…
Like many young women, I was ushered into womanhood with the help of teen magazines. I was so eager to be one of the “grown-ups,” to have real boobs, and long, painted nails, to look like Whitney Houston in her I Wanna Dance with Somebody video or Elisabeth Shue in Adventures in Babysitting.
You know…I wanted to be a real woman.
Imagine my horror, though, when I read through those ads and discovered that being a woman was…gross. Even the slightest glimpse of underarm stubble was considered vulgar? …