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…