2.) We all have probably gotten married at some point in our lives. (May I remind you of sandbox promises, Cracker Jack box rings, and getting lost in oversized white gowns?) I know I got married a few times back in my earlier years. Unfortunately none of the relationships lasted because my dad was already taken and I simply outgrew the rest of the boys about the time I grew out of diapers.
3.) We all had children. Some more than others. Some of us may have seriously neglected our children when we carried them around the house by their hair, or shoved them in the closet during clean sweeps of our rooms, but nonetheless we were mothers. (Even if they were plastic with wiry hair and creepy perma-grins.)
4.) We have all tried to twirl around in high heels that were ten sizes too big, with a dress that pooled at the floor, wearing clip on earrings and pearls. (I mean hello, how else were we supposed to get the ring?)
We were girls! We were feminine! And we loved it! But what does this word, “feminine,” really mean to us now? Does it simply mean having our pink facebook backgrounds with girly fonts and dotting our i’s with hearts? (Guilty as charged) Or is it much more? Webster’s dictionary defines femininity (try and say that word five times fast. Or for me, once is enough to mess that one up) as “The trait of behaving in ways considered typical for women” I don’t know about you, but that definition wasn’t working for me. How do I know how a “typical” woman behaves? (Heaven knows I am clearly not typical). So I decided to start out on a quest for my own definition of the word! I started by looking at the definition and pondered what “trait” a feminine women may possess. (Besides always being right) The word vulnerable came to mind. Now, I have been on a long journey to figure out what this word really means. Wikipedia states in a plain way that, “Vulnerability is the susceptibility to physical or emotional injury or attack. It also means to have one’s guard down, open to censure or criticism; assailable”. (You may be thinking “well that’s just great Wikipedia, thanks, but what in the world does that really mean?”) Well, ok maybe you weren’t thinking that, but I was.
Until it finally hit me, (finally) about a year ago, when I realized that I can’t “understand” the word. It wasn’t until I experienced vulnerability that I really understood the meaning. I realized that I never understood because I chose to run from it. Every time I got hurt I would put up another inch of the wall but when the wall slowly came down I quickly understood what it meant to be vulnerable. Not by reading books on the definition of vulnerability, or by listening to scholars (as if I listen to scholars on a regular basis) but it was by understanding what it felt like. (Exhibit A: poetry below)
It feels like..
Sweaty Fingers on the keyboard, checking his “status” wondering why his reads “single,” and hoping I didn’t read too far into things.
Sticky cell phone keyboard as I write and rewrite a clever way to answer the mundane question, hoping he finds it endearing enough to conclude that I actually am interesting.
Head on my favorite pillow secretly listening to Taylor Swift on repeat finding myself emotional for no apparent reason.
Wet eyes driving through traffic as I think that my dreams will never become reality.
Limp body as I lay on the couch hearing words that cut to the core, not knowing that anyone had the power to make me feel such strong emotions.
But it also feels like…
Buttery popcorn as I’m watching the bachelorette only to find myself secretly smirking because I know that my great guy is only a text away.
Dancing feet on the cold kitchen floor as I realize even the most mundane activities are suddenly the most fun when I’m with that person.
Bright lights on my face, uncontrollable giddy grin, as I look around and wonder how I was the one entrusted to share this story and play this role.
I believe that when we are vulnerable we must really risk in order to really gain. I lived far too long very safe. As far as dating relationships go I never felt extremely hurt, but I also never felt extremely loved or happy. So I actually found it liberating to be vulnerable and allowed myself to feel more fragile and delicate. I felt more like a beautiful 8 inch porcelain figurine, as opposed to a large stone statue, (Corrny? perhaps. But hey after all that poetry I’m getting in touch my softer side) and a result I actually felt more feminine.
As you can see…I didn’t finish my definition. My definition only reads like this so far:
Femininity: possessing traits such as vulnerability and…
The dot, dot, dots are where you come in. I want you to help add to this definition with your own perspective based on your life experience.
So, I want to hear from you. What is your idea or definition of femininity? Feel free to comment below.
Don’t forget, keep those great questions coming in. firstname.lastname@example.org
Remember, we can’t do it alone,