Happy International Women’s Day to anyone who needs to hear it.
As a woman who buys button down shirts from the men’s section in thrift stores, who barely understands make-up and who has therefore only ever experienced a crumbling sense of self after applying an unconvincing layer of foundation over my freckles, I tend to pass through this day with a general nod in the female direction.
Being a woman is complicated, from head to toe. Some days, I feel strangely powerful in a baggy t-shirt and dirty leather Timberlands. Other days, my mouth falls open at a candid cell phone snap, wondering how I ever decided to go out in public wearing that exact same outfit. (Side note: Do we get to omit the word “cell” from the word “cell-phone” now? Aren’t landlines officially a dying breed, despite being plugged in all the time? I mean, the word “cell” is practically a given now.) At any rate, I am constantly second guessing my own appearance as a woman these days in the wake of so many people splashing their bodies around in the deep ends of social media.
Does my body still hold value even if I see another body that I appreciate for very different reasons than my own?
Another complication: I am constantly fighting between my internal moral dilemmas of, “Yes, I love cooking up new recipes for dinner.” and “No! I will never be any man’s 1960’s housewife.” Or, “Am I effectively tackling this work problem in a healthy manner or does everyone think I’m acting like a complete bitch right now?” (Check ‘yes’ to both questions)
As a woman, I do a lot of guessing. Maybe this is an appropriate time to express this emotion? Maybe I will be respected more if I don’t express any emotion? Maybe this is how I am supposed to dress at 16, 21, or 30? Maybe a man will love me if I laugh at all of his jokes? Maybe I will end up alone in a cabin in the woods and maybe I will actually be ok with it even though I am told I won’t be? Maybe I want children but maybe I don’t? Maybe I understand my body enough to know when I’m getting my period but hell, maybe after all these years, I really don’t know that either.
Womanhood is like playing an elaborate game of charades where I am acting out the wildest actions just to finally hear my teammates shout out, “SHE’S A REAL WOMAN!”
To be truly and respectfully acknowledged as this wild divine being somehow holds more meaning than other basic adjectives such as, “pretty,” “funny,” or “intelligent”.
And you know what? All of these “maybes” that I constantly puzzle through are slowly teaching me to appreciate that all of the actions and decisions that I orchestrate will eventually design the full and complete canvas of my divine womanhood. Who is a woman? Whoever she may be.
A painting is appreciated using all or any of your senses. You may try to verbally describe its nature with words but the flow and mystery of its beauty is lost to the construct of words. What makes cherished artwork so special is the underlying secret between its creator and the creation.
Whatever allows you to feel most like a woman in this life is the creative license you hold with your own body, mind, and spirit. How will you thrive in your wild divine?
Moments from me being the anna-buck version of woman this past year: