Darling, I am not a girl anymore.
I am a woman.
I am thirty-two damn years old and proud of every day of it.
When did it become hard to call myself a woman? Since when did we decide that being a girl forever and ever was preferable to being a grown-up woman?
Be a girl forever, the world demands. Never get a wrinkle. Do sit ups until you pass out so that your tummy resembles a pop star. Oh, while you’re at it shave all of the hair from your body because we much prefer that pre-pubescent look, you know, and no, that doesn’t make me pervy, it makes you judgemental. Feel guilty for your curves and agonize over the marks of living your life like your stretch marks. Wear clothes like a teenager and play video games all day, resent the grown-up things like raising babies and paying bills. Don’t dare to read real books but while away your time on magazine quizzes. Inoculate yourself to the real world by the distractions of decorating and fashion, you know the “women’s section” of the newspaper. Shudder at the words responsibility and honour, simplicity and prayer, civility and kindness. Exalt immature passions and first-kisses but scoff at the long road to the front porch sitting, calling elderly couples “cute” instead of inspiring. Impatience marks youth and so we want it all now, consuming and eating and spending without consequence, everything from cars to computers to people, a generation of grasshoppers.
I am not yearning to go back to my youth (and not only because of the angst, oh, the angst!). If those were the best days of our lives, luv, then why would I bother to get out of bed today? No, today is it, today I am the grown-up, today I am the woman, the wife, the mother, the world-changer. Today is thirty-two years of loving and learning added up and poured out. It has taken thirty-two years to change from a know-it-all to an open and broken-hearted lover of life, poured out, every crack a place for the Light to escape, my hands finally unclenched and held out.
Grow up, my bones whisper, leave behind the angst, the self-consciousness, the hyper-self-awareness of youth and open your eyes to see the world around you.
I am not seeking my youth anymore, not taking my cues from the teenagers or the perpetually young. I am not satisfied with the bread and circuses of our youth-obsessed culture. I want the fruit of the Spirit, the bread of Life, the crimson wine and the humility to pull out the seat next to me, inviting Wisdom to sit down for a spell.
Can’t you see it? They all want us to shrug our shoulders, ladies, and simper, I’m just a girl. There is no “just” to being a woman. It’s a statement of the lines of your face, the wisdom you’ve gleaned and swallowed, say it out loud, I own my years, every one of them, and I am not a young girl, I am a woman in the thick of my life, living it, a force, a calling, a voice crying in the wilderness for Love.