Reading this over at 27, I smile— its as if I came to a very grown up revelation at 25, and have since digressed, in certain ways (I’m kidding). For the past two years I’ve pressed on in infantile connections, and I have furthered my distance from any kind of big romantic relationship. I have come a long ways away from my very white and Christian world since college, which has some advantages. I’ve recognized that desirability and dreamy romance swept up in a white dress and vows aren’t one in the same. I’ve learned the fallible nature of human relationships and how imperative it is to acknowledge whatever kind of love and companionship I’m lucky enough to acquire– no matter what form it graces me. I’ve also since learned that my sexual history isn’t shameful, what is, in fact, shameful was the secrecy and the shame put on me and my experiences by others. Even still, the aches still burn and rear its ugly head whenever any man gets a little too close to comfort. Therefore, this remains true as my story. And, I look forward to see how hope and light and love will continue to refurbish my insides and build something beautiful from the painful stories of my past.
Every woman has a story that has created their womanhood. For many it is a distinct moment, but for me I believe that it has been numerous small moments, and they continue to shape me. However, at twenty-five I have arrived to a point where I can look back and recognize the power in my experiences that have created the woman that I am.
Growing up, I was a black girl attempting to fit in a very white world. I had little consciousness how that affected my sense of who I was as a woman, but it subtly prompted me to believe numerous lies. Lies, such as, I am not desirable to men. Growing up in my context, I was not blonde, I was not size zero, and I was outspoken. In another place? Some would say— I just wasn’t plain. But to me, it didn’t matter how many of my girl classmates, friends, and parents told me how beautiful I am; I lived in complete belief that I was not desirable. I was sought out by some boys, and me being desperate for any kind of attention, I let myself be a lot of little boys’ dirty little secret. My experiences were so secretive that I sometimes let myself believe that they didn’t exist because my feelings were invalid to these boys, and not enough for them to tell the world that I am a girl they found desirable. My brown skin, curves, and unique sense of the world seemed to draw only a certain kind of boy in my very white, conservative world that my parents kept me in. I only drew boys near me who wanted to dabble in something against their families’ traditional values. When I was unwilling or too ashamed to do the things that my body and skin said that I should do, to these boys, they scampered away. Even when I was willing—they still ran. Going to college I sought out friendship with males where I could be safe and remain undesired. I was afraid that any man that considered me attractive only desired me to do things physically. I have been afraid of my own body, my skin, my sexuality, and who I am as a woman. I have feared them because I believed it had doomed my life to a lonely end.
Furthermore, I am facing the fact that my entire young-women-life I have believed that my body and skin distance me from ever being in a whole, healthy, unhidden, and real relationship with a man that isn’t sexual first.
I have wrestled with this very important piece of who I am as a woman. The desirability factor has always been a need I thought only could be fulfilled by the men around me, but it is not. Desirability comes from within along with beauty. Embracing my every curve, physical feature, and sexuality must be done within myself in order to become someone desirable. My story is one full of fear, but it takes only but one choice to dilute the negative power of the past. Therefore, I move forward in the hope to reroute my habitual thoughts and behavior, and one day become a woman with one more piece of herself taken back that was once stolen.