corylus is amazing. she wrote this:
I’ve changed so much. It’s hard to put into words, but it’s kind of like I’m becoming more feminine and really growing into myself as Woman. Not just the way I present myself, but my actions and the sweetness that seems to be dripping from my skin. Damn it I’m struggling with this. I’m not quite expressing this adequately. Like maybe before, I was afraid to be soft, afraid to be delicate and giddy because that was equal to weakness in my mind. It meant submitting to the specified role of the female. How our minds can seize on narrow paradigms! I felt cheated a lot of the time, like I had to sacrifice part of who I am for the benefit of all womankind. Now I know that my idealism was a lofty, noble way to be and it served me well when I needed it to be armor against my family and smalltown Kansas, but frankly I’m just not interested in acting for others anymore. […]
to which i responded:
OH MY GOD. ok, who wrote that? me or you? i often find myself asking that question when i read your posts, but this time it’s ridiculous. ridiculous what similar paths i see us having…
i am going through the exact same thing. learning how to be feminine, but my own version of it, not what society/history dictates as feminine. feminine as in a softer, more open, less harsh version of my self. a femininity that complements me as a person, does not identify me as one. it is only recently that i realized just how important this is. how i’d been denying myself this aspect of myself since, well, birth? since coming into my own, i suppose.
and i thought i had it all figured out! i thought, i’ve finally found myself. my real self. my foundation. my soul.
and that’s still true. on the inside, i am me. and nothing will change that.
but innards do not have a social appearance. they do not have a gender. they do not react to and interact with the outside world, with other individuals. they remain stagnant, still, and it is up to all of us to find/create an outer self that best expresses our inner self to others.
at least, that’s what i think.
and so my quest for the inner self ended, i knew i still had a ways to go before discovering my outer self- especially a loner/recluse like me, very socially awkward and inexperiencec.
on this new quest, i found this new part of myself coming through. a GIRLY PART, i thought at first with horror. oh no! this must go away! this is not me! i am not like this! i am not like every other stupid bloody sell-out conformity girly! AHHH!!
that was, of course, largely a cover. because i was really scared. not only of “selling out,” but because i was afraid i would lose the protection of being “hard” and “tough.” a protection formed starting from a very young age when i continually got let down by all sorts of people, ranging from family to friends to mentors.
i was scared to be vulnerable. i was scared to be hurt. i was scared to let people see the “real me.” and this was what i saw happening. a part of me inside, repressed and in the dark for so long, calling out to be let free. “give me a chance,” it cried. it fought bravely against the hard shell i’d built around it. and that voice, to me, was my feminine voice.
my old roommate’s mother is a homeopathist. i met with her to discuss some of my health issues and we got onto the topic of that- of something in me wanting to become more open, which was also characterized by my newly-found and extremely odd desire to get involved with another person on a romantic level. that had been also killed in the past, due to hurt and fear, and also due to cynicism and pragmaticism. but, regardless, it was surfacing. and in, i thought, a really cheesey way! ;)
it was she who suggested it was the femininity wanting to shine through. to become a part of me. to help me to become a well-rounded, complete person. that it WAS in fact a part of me, not just a phase or some freak seratonin thing, and that i needed to learn to embrace it, and realize that just because i was self-aware, doesn’t mean i had me all figured out. we had met once 6 or 7 months prior to our meeting, and said she had noticed a change in me in that period- she noticed that i was more outgoing, “open,” soft. she encouraged me to continue to listen to that voice, and any other voice that might come forth.