Chrysalis: From Tomboy To Woman (Part 1)

Every year, on the first day of August, I celebrate my birthday and so nearly three weeks ago the clock hand turned to that time again. Unlike previous birthdays in the past, I didn’t do anything big to mark the occasion. When I say big I mean getting really drunk, a birthday wasn’t one if I didn’t get smashed. But instead I found myself reflecting on my life. Yes, that boring grown up stuff happened to me. I reflected on where I am, where I have been and where I want to go.

You’re probably wondering what could have brought up all this and the answer is ‘change’. See, I have crossed over to my mid-twenties and surprisingly I find it very exciting. Truth be told, like most people I dread the idea of getting older but unfortunately it is inevitable. However, I feel like this change couldn’t have come at a better time. I feel physically, mentally and spiritually evolved and I see so many things differently than I did five years ago. But don’t get me wrong, I still have so many things I haven’t figured out yet. It just feels great to have some things finally figured out, you know? Among those things is my self image. For a very long time now, I have been struggling with being a tomboy, especially because I am not a little girl, any more and truth is there are no ‘Tom-men’, you become a woman at the end of the day. So as much as I am still a tomboy at heart, I’m excited about becoming a woman. Growing up as a tomboy filled my childhood with so much adventure. I enjoyed doing things that were out of the ordinary for other girls, I played with toy cars instead of dolls, climbed trees, somersaulted and rolled old car tires downhill. And once in a while, whenever they let me, I played football with the boys in the neighbourhood. However what I remember enjoying most about being a tomboy, were the clothes that I wore. I loved wearing shorts, t-shirts and jackets. And I often wore my cap backwards like the old school rappers I saw on the TV. I found these clothes more comfortable than the dresses or skirts that I had been wearing before I was old enough to choose my own clothes.

After I discovered shorts and t-shirts at the age of 7, I vowed never to wear girls’ clothes ever again. Later when I joined high school, I began to buy my own clothes and I was always seen sporting jeans, t-shirts and kicks. However, I realised that as much as didn’t like being a girl, I loved the idea of being a woman. See, in the back of my mind I had always been fascinated by women, how they carried themselves, their nice clothes and long hair. I found them so beautiful and deep down I wanted to be like that someday. That someday is finally here and I’m trying to be that woman. I do wear dresses from time to time and my favourite colour has changed from blue and grey to red. Whenever I feel inspired I do my nails, wear earrings and a pink top (ok not pink). I could say that everything seems to be working out just fine but there’s only one problem, the little boy within me keeps popping up, every now and then. I find myself struggling to wear make up or grow my hair for a long period of time. I own one pair of high heels that I never wear and I’m still convinced that Chuck Taylors are the best shoes in the world plus each time I wear lipstick I fight so hard not to turn it into food.

And so the question is, who will I be? Will I continue to suffocate the tomboy in favour of the woman who I am becoming or is it possible for both of them to live harmoniously inside my body?  I choose the latter because I am a firm believer in being my authentic self. I have decided to embrace the tomboy that I am and try to blend ‘him’ with the woman I’m becoming. And so for the next few of weeks I will be sharing my experiences as a struggling tomboy but first I would like to share with you how it all started.

To be continued…

About Teakisi 239 Articles
Teakisi (formerly ElleAfrique) is an English and French blogzine dedicated to challenging and changing the perceptions of African girls and women in the world today.

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