*Tracee Ellis Ross turned 50 last October and celebrated the milestone with a big birthday party. Age 50 is also a pointer that the child-bearing phase is ending- at least for many women. It is the dawn of menopause, and the actress is well aware of this reality; she addressed the issue of menopause during an episode of Glennon Doyle’s “We Can Do Hard Things” podcast. She was hosted by Glennon and Amanda Doyle, a married couple.
Each year, over one million women in the U.S. go through menopause effects. A woman is said to be going through menopause when she misses her period for twelve consecutive months. On the other hand, perimenopause are the years leading up to menopause. Perimenopause comes with hot flashes and mood changes caused by hormone fluctuations.
Ross considers herself very much in tune with her body, meaning she listens to every message her body tries to tell her. So she revealed that the latest message is that she is in her perimenopause phase. She said it is making her feel like she is starting the journey of womanhood again.
“I have, for my entire life, been tethered to a very routine cycle,” Rose stated. “And I’m very connected to my body, so I would know I’m ovulating. I would have all the feelings of knowing that. And all of that is out the window. And I turn 50. And here I am in this open space now, sort of allowing the bubbling up of whatever might be here.”
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The “Black-ish” actress shared with the podcast audience excerpts from her journal to make them understand better what she goes through as she ages.
“I can feel my body’s ability to make a child draining out of me. Sometimes I find it hilarious as if there is a fire sale going on in my uterus, and someone’s in there screaming, ‘All things must go!’” she stated.
The excerpts also partly read, “As my body becomes a foreign place to me that doesn’t really feel safe or like home…I don’t know how to manage or control or fight the external binary narrative of the patriarchy that has hunted me and haunted me most of my adult life.’”
“Is it my fertility that is leaving me? Is it my womanhood? Or is it really neither? But I have to fight to hold my truth, because I have been programmed so successfully by the water we all swim in, by the water we all are served. And I feel fertile with creativity, full of power, more and more a woman than I’ve ever been. And yet that power that I was told I must use was not used.”
Ross continued to share more thoughts about her experience with perimenopausal, now focusing on fertility.
“I mean, just trying to figure out what that means, because my ability to have a child is leaving me, but I don’t agree that that’s what fertile means. I don’t agree that that’s what woman means,” she said.
Ross is childless, but she pointed out she is a wonderful mother.
“I’m very mothering,” she noted. She often shares her nieces and nephews on her social media platforms. She says she can now afford to view the issue of being childless from the point of curiosity, not pain.
“The heartbreak does come up, and I get to hold that gently and lovingly and then say, remind myself, ‘I woke up every morning of my life and I’ve tried to do my best, so I must be where I’m supposed to be,” she said. “I’ve been single for a very long time. I have had many wonderful ins and outs of things, but no one stuck to the pan. As a result, I get to curate my family, my chosen family around me. And I don’t think I realized the gift of that until I’ve started to get older.”
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