The Year of Becoming

My girl is holy, is sacred, is pure

is clean, is loved, is whole, is beautiful

is worthy, is okay, is alone, is just fine

just the way you are girl

just the way you look babe

with that dirty mouth

and those hands, wherever they have been

and that sadness, whatever caused it

and that anger, wherever it came from

and that fear, who ever brought it

you are my girl, girl, you are me

-Warsan Shire

Maybe everyone has that path-changing/forming year, and this year was mine.

It was a year of becoming. The becoming of me to be exact. It isn’t that I had no idea who I was before, or had muddled views and values. No, it isn’t that at all. In a way, it was a form of unleashing and becoming. The unleasing of restraints on years of pent up thoughts, kept locked away in the name of peace and ‘wearing the mask.’ The becoming of an academic who tries to push the envelope in what is accepted voices to use in discourse and discussion. The unleashing of the remaining remnants of feeling the need to please others with the decisions I make, even if it hurt me in the process. The becoming of a fresh woman, with the baggage of past relationships slipped off her shoulders and left far behind on a road never to be traversed again. The becoming of a woman capable of taking the clarity and lessons of moments and grasp the complexities of their significance. The unleashing of a spirit unshakeable enough to go headfirst into storms and reach across divides of space and time to grasp strongly to the things she wants. (Because nothing is as sweet as the things we want most, no matter how hard they are to come by.)

It was also the year I angered or offended enough people on my social media for them to unfollow or unfriend me. The year I was told by varying faces in varying places with ferocity and contempt that I was single, getting old, angry, wrong, a crazy liberal, a feminist, an agitator, a white hater, a reverse racist, bougie, privileged, and ‘too much.’

In the midst of years of becoming, there are always the voices who try to undo.

Some labels are true, and others untrue. It’s figuring out the ones to embrace and those to throw aside that’s pivotal to the becoming.

In a year marked by fledgling threads coming undone, I stooped to sew together the pieces into a promise:

I am okay. I am just fine. I am imperfectly progressing through life, washed in the perfecting waters of God’s grace and delight. I am loved. I am whole. I am beautiful. 

As I stepped one more year deeper into my mid-20s, I had become the woman I set out to be–even when I did not know she was who I wanted to be. Sometimes scared, sometimes angry, and sometimes fearful, but always, always, always, me.

I’m not quite sure what it is that I have figured out. I just know it has been turned on. Perhaps it’s the ability to live a bit more loud, a little more unapologetically, and a lot more purposefully.

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