My First Period? I Was 16!

I was 16!

I can say today that I was one of the lucky girls who got their period very late. “Lucky” is not how I felt back when I was a teenager. While everyone around me had a regular body growth, I was very short and had what I’d say was a small child’s body until the end of high school. 

All my friends had their period between 12 and 14 years old. I couldn’t wait to reach this milestone and feel like a woman, like the other girls my age. As annoying and painful as they are, my period was an ultimate goal as a teen at a time when all I wanted to do was fit in. I waited for years for something I thought was going to make me feel proud, only to discover at 16(!) that it was nothing rewarding at all. 

I wore a new pair of white shorts (of course) I had just bought for the summer when I felt something in my panties. I ran to the bathroom only to find out I was finally bleeding. Funny I didn’t feel as expected. Instead of being happy, I felt terrified about putting on a tampon and shy/ashamed that I was the last of my friends to experience it. I yelled for my mom who made it sound so normal and simple that I came to accept the sad truth and realized all those years I spent looking forward to this moment were my actual years of freedom, because let’s face it, periods are the worst.