Unfolding

In a world
Built, shaped, designed for men:
Smart, brave, bold, curious, thinking men
And beautiful, soft, loyal women;
I thought a ring around my finger,
Or wrinkles around my eyes
Would be dues worth paying,
The cost of wanting
To be seen as something more
Than a trophy to win,
A match to be made,
A prize to catch.

I thought age and title
Would bring me the thing I craved the most:
To meet the world as I am
On my own two feet.
And to have the world meet me as I am:
Smart, brave, bold, curious, thinking wo-man.

And now, a little older, a little wiser
I realize — 
It is not being off the market
Or being undesirable
That will make me a little more than
Just a pretty face.

It is the miles I have walked
On my own two feet — 
The choices I have made
That were not ones I was told I should make;
And it is not the lines on my face
But the scars on my heart
For living resolute;
Refusing to belong to anyone who would assume it,
Or to accept as truth something because I was taught it.

In the words of Maya Angelou:
"It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet."
The joy that comes from discovering that life is an adventure,
Not a set of rules or duties or a 3-step skincare routine.

It’s the fire in the eyes
Of a woman who has learned
That whatever or whoever she meets
She doesn’t need to feel small,
Or less than,
Or silenced,
Or bold "for a girl",
Or anything "for a girl" — 
She is not a prize to be caught,
A trophy to score,
A better half,
A half — 
She is already complete.

Now that I’m a little older, a little wiser
Still no ring on my finger
Or wrinkles around my eyes... (Yet)
Somehow, I find the world I meet today
Meets me as I am;
With fire in my eyes,
Swing in my waist,
And joy in my feet.
And now I have learnt
That to be seen for more,
I first had to see more.

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In search of what it means to live, love, and learn well.

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