My Intention - Sharing my Truth as a Woman

 

As a child, growing up in Barcelona, Spain, I was very independent. As the youngest of four children, I often ended up looking after myself. My mother tells me at age three I would leave the house to play with my best friend Raul, and wouldn’t come home again until I was hungry. 

I was 12-years-old when I first experienced how the world views me as a woman. It was a hot summers’ day in Barcelona, and I was at home in just my knickers. I was told by a family member to ‘cover up’ and put a shirt on. I was confused and didn’t really understand why.

My journey to understanding what being a woman really meant, and what society expected of me, began when I started my period. For me this was a sign that I was an adult woman and that made me feel happy. However at school the other girls viewed their periods as dirty or shameful. Although this was at odds with how I really felt, I adopted their opinions as my own in order to fit in. Luckily I found my own way of relating to my period, but that wasn’t the end of my journey with my body.

During my late teens I experienced bulimia, which I battled with for 10 years. Eventually, after years of therapy, I realised one day that I did not want to be that person anymore. It was this decision that empowered me to overcome the mental illness. I strongly believe that regardless of how much therapy I could have had in my life, ultimately the decision to change had to be mine.

Following my recovery I needed to explore who I really was, so I set off to travel the world alone. I arrived in the UK and began exploring Europe, with London as my base in-between countries. I had plans to explore more Australia or America next, but then I met my husband and settled here in London, where I’ve been living for the last eight years.

I always knew that I wanted to be a mother, but conceiving my daughter was not an easy process. Having experienced a miscarriage, eventually I was lucky enough to conceive through IVF.

Although motherhood was my greatest wish come true, it slapped me in the face. I was unprepared for the reality of it, because it is not something that society talks openly about. Also, I didn’t have any family support so I felt very alone at the beginning. Three years on, my beautiful girl is teaching me every day who I am, how to become a better person and to love unconditionally. She hasn’t improved my ability to be patient though!

I have now reached a stage in my life where I’m learning what my new identity is, as a mother, but also as a woman. It’s a journey I’m taking with myself and also with my clients. Learning about how other women really feel and relate to who they are in this journey of womanhood is what inspires me.

 
 
In a period of big changes (job, house, relationships...), Alejandra helped me not to feel overwhelmed by the coming together of all of them, to tackle every single element at a time, and to see their positive sides when I could see only difficulties. She helped me to see the big picture and realize some qualities of mine in the way I am approaching this situation, which I had underestimated, or not recognised.
— Elisabetta Scantamburlo, art curator and translator