for as long as i can remember, i have openly opposed the idea of being feminine. i proudly proclaim the fairer sex, but neglect its beauty.
i can remember specific times as a kid, when i would choose to be with the boys, make it a point to speak my independence and of course, NEVER carry a purse. i saw the purse as some sort of weakness-that you had to rely upon the trappings of endless beauty products and giant, overpriced handbags (or duffel bags) to prove your status and beauty to the world. obviously that is a bit of a misjudgment on my part.
as a high schooler, i rarely dated and quietly mocked the girly girls, gossiping about each other and shopping at the mall. i only went to one dance that was actually with a boyfriend. the only time i got asked was by guys that were friends, whose first choices said no. that sums it up in a nutshell.
i loved baseball. i loved music. i hated long, painted nails. i retreated at the very thought of showing that yes, indeed, i might need help.
and now, as an adult some of that still lingers. i still war with my womanly shadow about who will win out: the prideful, stubborn tomboy, or the delicate, demure and shall i say pretty woman. the thing is, no one needs to win. they are both there. they are both a part of my past, my present and my future. they are both formidable characters at the table of my life. they are sometimes rude to each other, nagging, incessant mockers. but they are me.
over the past few months, i have begun to see how much i resist the idea of femininity. like i said, i call myself a woman, but reject the adjective, or sometimes adverb, "womanly".
i think back to all the male friends i kept, and how little attention i got from men. i was quiet, shy and the antithesis of flirty. if a guy liked me, i wanted it to be because i was strong, confident and capable...not just because i had a nice ass and a cute face.
in turn, i got a few dates, but never allowed anyone to see me as needy.
when i was in vermont last month, this light bulb suddenly switched on. there is an innate resistance to expressing need; and not in the annoying, selfish way, but in a genuine, heartfelt way. it seemed burdensome. i was afraid of abandonment upon someone hearing that i needed something from them, and only them. and then, i would fulfill my own ill-fated prophecy by pushing them, being brute and passive aggressive, instead of honest and vulnerable.
being a woman feels so vulnerable at times. there seems to be an unspoken expectation that you are physically and emotionally more available and vulnerable than men. and within that, there are liberties taken against women that become unspeakable.
there is a part of me that wanted to avoid all the unspeakable parts of being a woman, meaning, i had to reject my femininity.
as i approach my 30th birthday, it has been illuminated that none of this has been working for me, or those around me. i have begun to walk on a path of full acceptance. i am learning to accept the curve of my hips, the stretch marks from having a beautiful child, the idea of wearing something pink, growing my nails and telling my husband i need him.
i have always feared that by doing those things i would get lumped in as just another one of 'those' girls. i saw myself as different, and i want(ed) other people to. but instead, in many cases, i just didn't get seen at all.
this afternoon, jared and i had the rare opportunity for a midday date. his idea: go see sex and the city 2. yes folks, he likes that show. i obliged. per usual, the movie was an extravagant narrative about rich, feisty women in the throws of midlife and romance in NYC. but the biggest message i received from it (maybe because of all this illumination in my own life) was the idea of women being recognized for who they are, what they do and how beautiful we are--all of us. it's a good reminder that i am special. it's a good reminder that it's ok to be a woman, and even take pride in it.
and with all that said, and all judgements aside, i was totally one of 'those' girls today: going to watch sex and the city on opening day with a giant popcorn and a diet pepsi. sometimes it just feels good to embrace the inner woman, eat junk and enjoy some Sex.