On a walk this morning I ran into my neighbor Lucinda. I love Lucinda because she skips small talk and just serves the meat. This morning as we strolled by she asked me how I was feeling. After I responded, she went into a thoughtful expedition about the female journey.
"There is a point where a girl becomes a woman." She said. A point where a woman becomes a female warrior. Where her life is no longer a game, it is a genuine battle. Not to survive only, but to survive and be strong.
The thought swallowed me.
Because lately I've wondered about myself. Where has my youth gone? Suddenly, I don't feel the charms of my twenties, or even earlier thirties. Something inside of me has fundamentally changed when I didn't even know it. But I feel it.
I find myself wanting to fight. Fight for simplicity. Fight for truth. Fight for a daily thirty-minute nap/ quiet time. Because if I don't fight, things get complicated. They get confusing. I don't get a nap. Fear camouflages faith and things get really messy . . . unless I fight.
I think I must be transitioning over the threshold, because I still find myself embarrassed for what I lack. My jokes were funnier, I was clever-er, my ability to keep it all together was intact . . . back then. But now I am in that awkward stage where I am not secure in becoming WOMAN, although there She is, ready to hand me a sword to cut through crap.
Crappy ideas, crappy expectations, crappy use of time or money or resources, crappy things I want (really, really want) but certainly don't need, crappy behavior, crappy situations I put myself into, crappy doubts.
And here is the mashed potatoes to go with Lucinda's meat: when I hear women say "I used to be this or that" or "My brain has gone to mush because . . ." because they've had babies, or because they've devoted their lives to other people, or because they've crossed the line of girl to woman, I always think It won't happen to me. Please, don't let it happen to me. But I see now how it happens. Big dreams seem too distracting, physical energy turns into spiritual examination, gray hairs appear. You change, dang it, you just do.
But perhaps it is all in the wording:
My ability to be clever has turned itself into an ability to be wise.
I have trained my brain to assess the needs of others before my own.
My charm comes from not feeling pressure to be charming.
I prefer the simple life. The life I have now.
And I know I won't always have to fight. At some point it will be in my nature to be a secure, confidant woman without the battle cry. Today though, I like to feel the weapon in my hands, ready to unleash it upon all stupidity.
As for the threshold, I wonder. For me, it isn't pregnancy, or having a baby, or near-death experiences of loved ones (though I am sure they push). It has been a quiet, God-guided transition that I've underappreciated. Until today.
1) Children are pretty funny and clever. Perhaps the best of us gets soaked up in them?
2) I am thinking that Heavenly Father doesn't care what we do, as long as we do it with gratitude, and gratitude might be the sword of which we use to cut crap. If I can't eat it, wear it, believe in it without gratitude--it goes.
3) I think the threshold of going from girl to woman comes from learning to love someone more than yourself.
p.s. Loved your comments, thank you.