After — long after — I walked out of the emotional swamp which was my divorce and the post-divorce transition relationship (which by the way, is always…always a mistake) — I began to notice Men.
Young Men. Old Men. Cute Men. Rugged Men. Tattooed Men. Bearded Men. Short Men. Tall Men. Muscular Men. Thin Men.
It was as if suddenly a new setting had been activated on my internal radar. In the previous fifty three years of my life, I had never noticed men. Not even as a teenager with raging hormones had I looked at a man and internally sized him up with Intent.
It dawned on me this is the way a brain works without the domesticating effects of estrogen. This was my brain on testosterone. And I didn’t mind. At all.
It was amazing.
I fully understood how the word/imagine/stereotype Cougar came to be. It’s short hand for a woman under the influence of the same hormone all men walk around with on a regular. The playing field just got level fellas.
The difference here though was willpower. And self esteem. And self preservation. And intelligence.
I wasn’t under the influence of so much testosterone that it completely negated all of the above. However, window shopping. Oh hell yes, you bet I was going to sit there and admire those men.
I have embraced this phase of my life as the gift it is. The loss of estrogen from my body has made me feel better. More confident. More attractive. More courageous. Better able to hold my boundaries and tell people to “Fuck off”. I have teeth and claws I didn’t have when I was younger.
My Animus found his feet and balance came into being within my soul. Oddly enough with the emergence of this — I became a whole woman. I could reach into myself and find the strength I needed to be who I was. Real Ann. My life grew calmer and came into focus.
Five years later — do I still admire men and their physical appearance? Oh hell yeah! There are a lot of yummy men out there to admire too, let me tell you. But — and it’s a big but — just like looking at a beautiful flower, if you care about it — you don’t pick it. You just admire it. Leave it where it’s growing. And move along on your way with a smile. Your day made brighter by the gift of their appearance.
If I am ever meant to keep one — The Universe will land him on my doorstep and there will be not doubt about it. Until then, I will just be blessed to enjoy the scenery.