I've been feeling very womanly lately. I'm not sure if it's the double-dose of Venus I have in my natal chart via my Taurus sun and Libra rising signs, or if it's the fact that I'm almost 30, or if it's the fact that my music choice du jour is anything where I can bust out a fierce, lusty body roll. I caught myself saying "Now, THIS is some grown music!" while listening to Justin Timberlake's new album The 20/20 Experience, and immediately worried that I was turning into one of those old, crotchety women who yell at kids to get off her lawn - but then I remembered that just a week before, I was in the club hollering 3-6 Mafia and 2 Chainz lyrics and dutty wining for my life. I knew I hadn't lost much of my youthful joie de vivre, but I've just been feeling...different lately.
Everyone tells me it's the fact that I'm about to hit 30 - the decade which everyone promises will bring you heightened self-realization, confidence, and libido, and lowers the amount of damns you have to give about things and people that don't really matter. This makes some sense to me, because when I think about the things I've both embraced and let go, they fit well with the gifts that the 30s bring.
I'm starting to feel an unfamiliar calmness and - dare I say it - satisfaction with my body. I feel like I've been at odds with it for most of my life. It never looked the way I thought it should look. Sometimes it didn't behave the way I thought it should have behaved. I haven't deciphered yet if I've just conceded the fight and given up, or if I've really started to accept myself as is. That's not to say that I'm not consistently working to improve on what I can improve on, and that's not to say I'll never have an "ugh" day ever again, but I'm really starting to feel settled in my body, and I like it.
With that sense of comfort comes a renewed interest in how I present myself to the world. After going to Solange Knowles' concert a few weeks ago, I realized that I really loved how she looked. I loved the detail in her outfit, the shoes she wore, the mani/pedi she had, the red lip she rocked. I remembered how much fun I used to have with my outer appearance - not for sheer vanity's sake, but for the sake of looking at myself like a canvas that could become a different masterpiece on a daily basis. I was looking at some vintage photos of Diana Ross in her heyday, and thirsted for a bit of flair and glamour in my life. I can't remember the last time I got a mani/pedi, or bought new makeup, or got a new outfit - my excuse had been not wanting to spend money where I don't have to, but I realized I've been stifling a part of my creativity that really used to thrive. I found myself on The Fashion Bomb the other day for the first time in what felt like forever - and it wasn't until then that I realized how much I had been starving myself of the things I love about fashion and makeup and all things pretty. It's time to turn that around and get my swagger back. Are the kids still saying that?
Forgive the heteronormativity of my next statement, but there's nothing like the love and support of a good man to make you feel all delicious and womanly. At least, that's how I feel with me and mine. I continue to get deeper and deeper into what it means to be someone's life partner - and it regardless of the ups and downs, it feels wonderful. It's one thing to talk about the roles partners play in relationships, but it's another thing when sh*t hits the fan and you have to put those words into action. I'm just lucky enough to have someone who moves like a game of Tetris with me - we shift and slot ourselves into whatever space needs filling to ensure that we maintain a solid foundation to build on. Damn. I've equated our relationship to a lot of different things, but Tetris is a new one. Anyways, as Martin says, "You feel a calm, don't ya, like me and Gina! You got somebody that got you!"
A newfound confidence and assertiveness has awoken in me lately too. I've been finding myself bold enough to cut through the bullsh*t and ask for what I want, say what I like, what I don't like, what I want more of, or what I never want again. I'm re-creating myself to be the kind of woman who believes that life happens for her, instead of resigning herself to the helpless position of life happening to her. I'm starting to see new areas of life that I can actively take charge in - areas that I can proudly make my own. It's this confidence and assertiveness that is positively affecting a lot of the other things I mentioned above. Owning my sexuality, my sensuality, feeling a new strength, making my imperfections work in my favour, recognizing my gifts - all of these things are expressed differently now than they ever have before, which - to me - feels like a big part of what grown womanhood is all about.
Since I was small, I've held a vision of what I thought the coolest, most beautiful, smartest, funniest, most self-assured and effervescent woman looked like, and I feel like I'm finally starting to morph into her. I'm humbled by the privilege I have of saying that I like the woman I'm becoming, but dammit, I do - and I'm ready to have some fun.
Ladies - regardless of age, do you feel like you've grown into your womanhood? Was there a moment when you felt you matured from "girl" to "woman"? What motivated that shift? What does womanhood mean and look like to you?
P.S. The 20/20 Experience is a problem. See my earlier tweet and be warned: