As I’m approaching the end of my 20s, I’ve come to a point where I am actively seeking a healthier relationship with myself, my body and this thing called womanhood. As a woman living in the millennial world, the ability to love yourself wholey and appreciate your body for the wonder that it is can sometimes prove to be easier said than done.
Looking back, I can remember a point where I was not mentally conscious of my body: it was just there. I fed it what I wanted and that was that. I was content and living life aimlessly. Somewhere in my mid-twenties, I stopped appreciating my body for all that it has been through as well as where it was headed. Let’s face it, puberty and your 20s do a number on your body but let’s not even throw motherhood in the mix because that it another mountain peak on its own.
The reality is, nobody really teaches you how to appreciate and nurture your mind, body and soul. It’s one of those things that you either stumble upon or spend your life searching for. I don’t ever want to fall into the latter group.
Over the past few years, both my body image and my physical body have endured a rollercoaster ride of changes. I’ve reached a crossroad where I am actively seeking “enlightenment” and to be at peace with womanhood and all that it comes with.
Womanhood is Multifaceted
There is more than one way to be a woman and to experience womanhood. There is so much emphasis that is placed on making women feel that they need to embody an ideal representation of womanhood, be it physically or actively in performance. The very experience of it becomes less about a journey of growth and self discovery, and more about socialist ideals. As women, we judge ourselves but we are also judged by our peers and by society.
Womanhood should be a representation of ourselves and we should create the standards and criteria that we want to adhere to in our own lives. Oprah said it best: “On my own I will just create, and if it works, it works, and if it doesn’t I’ll create something else. I don’t have any limitations on what I think I could or be.”
There is Power in Choice
We have been raised to believe that men are the most powerful creatures on the planet and in order to want to be heard, seen and taken seriously, you must be just that- a man. Now can you imagine telling our ancestors that a time would come that women could choose to be stay-at-home caregivers OR go out into the world and chase their dreams, let alone have the ability to do both simultaneously, should they choose to. They’d roll in their graves.
Women can have it all. Ironically, it wasn’t until I entered my mid-twenties and became a wife that I realized I really could do all the things. I spent many years of my life thinking that I had to do life in stages and that I couldn’t possibly achieve everything I wanted to. Part of that came from being told by society that if women didn’t accomplish things by certain milestones then they had failed at the one thing that they were brought into this earth to do.
I’ve reached a point where I am actively seeking out the things that bring me joy and satisfaction, while walking away from those that don’t fit the idea of what I want my life to be. Some may say that there is some sense of entitlement in doing so but I believe that you get to create your own destiny and write your own story, so why not make it enjoyable throughout?
Womanhood is Truly a Beautiful Thing
There’s never been a better time in the world that there is now to be a woman and to demand authority in all the spaces that you occupy. I consider this an ode to my younger self and all the women like me trying to find their place is this world. Let us not diminish the light that we are and let us not hide from our desire to dominate careers, hobbies and everything in between.
I am learning to be forgiving of myself. Truly understanding that we hold the power of choice and that womanhood is a multifaceted concept is empowering. What does womanhood mean to you and how do you embody it?