I suffered when I was bleeding
Written by a much older Miwa in 2116 to her (future) granddaughter:
When I was young I really suffered during my menstruation periods and had a hard time working while I was bleeding. Sometimes I was supposed to go about my day and behave as though all was fine, when really what I needed was a comfortable hammock and peace.
It was hard for me to convince your grandfather that I needed help with taking care of the house and our children during the time of my bleeding. Despite him being a tolerant and open-minded man, he was raised in a family where women were supposed to do all of the work and attend to their men. It took a lot of time for him see where I was coming from and to change his outlook.
Today, in the year 2116, I no longer menstruate, but I want to tell you a bit about my journey, as it may help you. It was thanks to the powerful plants of Ayahuasca that I came to better understand my menstruation. The rainforest and contact with indigenous people gave me the power to make a better life for myself and feel happier during my moon time.
I hope you remember my personal and social struggles, as I know they have made your life easier. Remember: every change in your life has to happen within you, your body, your spirit, and your mind, and only with all of these aspects of yourself working together will you be able to change your own society and future.
Miwa Bankova was born in Bulgaria but has lived and worked for many years in Puerto Maldonado, Peru. She is the founder of Koshi, an association for intercultural mediation, social work, and cultural travel. Miwa wrote this letter to her future self during a writing workshop at the 2015 Advice Project Media Global Leadership and Empowerment Summit at the Inotawa Expeditions Ecolodge in the Peruvian rainforest in July, 2015.