Where I grew up, being a guy had its perks. You could take your shirt off, you had premium dibs on the newest Pokemon card being traded in the neighborhood, you could run faster, jump higher, play football better…the list goes on and on. Being the only girl in my family, plus living in a neighborhood where boys outnumbered girls 4:1, I was a minority. So what’s a girl to do?
Become a tomboy.
Tea parties, doll houses, and playing dress up? How about Nintendo 64, castles, and climbing trees? Being a tomboy was so much fun and taught me some really valuable life lessons: like how to hold my own in SuperSmash Bros. or how to beat up someone Dragon Ball-Z style. Yet there’s one lesson I learned that I’m still trying to reverse…that women are weak.
I looked at my femininity in terms of what I was lacking, how I stacked up in comparison to the guys, and I didn’t like what I saw.
The more I learned about myself though, the more I appreciated my femininity. I think of the women in my life and I see safe harbors where my complex, worried little mind can find support and rest. I’ve found power inside of me that I didn’t have when I was trying to be like the guys. There’s insightfulness about life: an ability to see past the facades of a situation and into the heart of the matter. But more than that…the heart of a woman sees because the heart of a woman can nurture. That softness that I tried to cover up with mud and smack talk is actually my greatest asset.
Don’t get me wrong…that tomboy is still inside me. The ability to beat (some) guys in sports is one of my greatest pleasures in life…along with smack talking. It really is a gift. But I don’t hide behind those things anymore.
Fast forward 15 years and you’ll find a woman who still cringes at the mention of a slumber party, a group hug, a mani/pedi, etc. but whose heart finds freedom in the presence of other women.
You’ll also find new strength that rivals Super Saiyan.
But mainly, you’ll find a beautiful mystery that commands respect.
As Fulton Sheen said,
“To a great extent the level of any civilization is the level of its womanhood. When a man loves a woman, he has to become worthy of her. The higher her virtue, the more noble her character, the more devoted she is to truth, justice, and goodness, the more a man has to aspire to be worthy of her. The history of civilization could actually be written in terms of the level of its women.”
Here’s to being a woman!