Friday, 20 September 2013

Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman

Do you call yourself a woman? For some this is an easy question to answer. If you're male a simple "No" is all you need. If you're a child you might answer, "Not yet". But if you answered "Yes" then take a moment to think back and find the moment when you, in your own mind, stopped being a girl and began to see yourself as a woman. I ask because I feel as though I'm still waiting for that moment to arrive and flick the switch that will send me off to womanhood.

There are a million and one moments in a girls life that people cite as the moment when she becomes a woman. Her first period, her bat mitzvah or quinceanera, her eighteenth birthday, her twenty-first birthday, her first time. But if all of these were true I should have become a woman ten times over by now. Instead I pass each landmark waiting to feel different on the other side only to find myself just as lost and bewildered as when I started.

One thing I am beginning to accept is that there is no "other side" for me to reach, no switch that will turn me from girl to woman. Bewilderment, it seems, is only a natural reaction to the chaos that life throws your way.

So perhaps one day I will own the word "woman" but till then I find myself at a loss for something to use in its place. Just as I can't call myself a woman yet, I also know I've out grown the word "girl". Instead I am lost somewhere in the no-man's-land between. If I were male I might call myself a "guy" in place of "boy" or "man". But no such word exists for me to use. I never thought I would say this, in fact I use to make fun of this song, but Britney had it right. I'm not a girl, not yet a woman.

I am lots of things. I am a daughter, a sister, a friend, a student, a teacher, a lover, a heart breaker. But a woman? That's one I'm not so sure about.

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