Growing Up & Into Myself: A Dialogue on Strength and Transition as a Womxn

Writing an article centred on the theme of Womxn’s Day proved to be a lot harder than I thought it would be. There were so many ways I thought to tackle the topic. Go the historical route? Or what about a “modern female’s guide to feminism”? Go on a rant and attack men? These didn’t seem to fit no matter what I tried.

So, here’s the deal. I’m turning twenty in a week so that sparked an idea. Technically, in society’s eyes I’m a grown womxn now and with that comes some grown up responsibilities. Which I accept. I feel like I’ve been waiting to be the independent version of myself for so long. But something’s happening to me at the same time. I don’t know if it’s some weird cosmic thing where the stars magically align and everything goes right, or simply just one of those things that happen to everyone at a certain stage of their life, but I find myself changing. Not in the physical sense of course; my skin isn’t turning green or anything like that. But I don’t feel the same either. Maybe the word transition would be better. I feel like I’m stuck in a doorway, leaving something behind but entering something new. Or as if I’m shedding some old dead skin that I’ve only noticed now has been a scaly cloak I’ve been needing to shake off.

I’m more emotional, more creative, but also more, strangely, confident. Coming from someone who has crippling anxiety this is not normal. But I’m allowing myself to go with it.

‘Womxn’ as a word has undergone a complete transformation and I’ve learned that there’s no need to choose sides or fit into a certain mould or strict dictionary definition. It's okay to exist as a dual-feeling, complex and confused creature. I’m emotional, yes, I might feel everything a bit too much, but I’m also strong. I’m tough. I’ve survived a lot. As womxn we all have. These stages of change and growth are what build us up. I like to think that they’re our minds waking us up to new potential or simply saying we need a change of internal scenery.

So, in honour of womxn’s week, I’ve compiled a little strip of sorts to remind myself of the things that matter. The things we aren’t told frequently as well: that, as a womxn, growth is never instantaneous, that it’s possible to exist as a soft yet strong womxn and that sometimes self-love and self-acceptance don't always come first or even second. And when you do get there you’ll feel the strangest sense of calm. Kind of what growing into your own skin must feel like.

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