So it is that time of the year once again…8th March 2019.
International Women’s Day.
A day we take out to specially commend the wonderful women in our lives, families, communities and in society at large. In light of the recent #MeToo movement and women empowerment movement, this day has become more celebrated on social media. However, as a young adult I am left wondering what does it mean to be a Woman?
Summer 2017 was very interesting for me, I started following a YouTube series produced and directed by Kemi Adetiba called ‘King Women’. Listening to some of the stories from the amazing women she interviewed really inspired me and motivated me. In particular, my absolute favorite was Olajumoke Adenowo (So much gems and insight!). Although, I remember that the first time I really started to get excited about being a woman was when I heard the song by Bouqui ft Omolara Virtuous Woman (If you haven’t heard it yet, don’t play yourself, click the link and check it out). But, then that raised the question what does ‘virtuous’ mean? Well I discovered that virtuous was synonymous with righteous, meaning morally excellent. In this day and age though, what does that really mean?? Society trains young girls to be ‘goody too shoes’ and demure and gentle in our mannerisms. But, recently it seems the narrative has changed. We are told by the likes of Maya Angelou the acclaimed writer, poet and civil right activist states in her poem ‘Phenomenal Woman‘ that:
Now you understand Just why my head’s not bowed. I don’t shout or jump about Or have to talk real loud. When you see me passing, It ought to make you proud. I say, It’s in the click of my heels, The bend of my hair, the palm of my hand, The need for my care. ’Cause I’m a woman Phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, That’s me.
Phenomenal Woman by Maya Angelou
Well, as a Christian I also wondered what is the biblical understanding of womanhood ? We are all familiar with the Proverbs 31 woman. It states
“She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future. When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness. She carefully watches everything in her household and suffers nothing from laziness.”
Proverbs 31: 25 – 27 (NLT)
Okay, so how does a 21st century young person understanding what it means to be a young woman?
Letters to our Younger Self
Some people argue there is a difference between being a woman and being female. However, the ultimate definition of a woman to me is someone who is fearlessly and fully living God’s purpose for her life. I know it’s very generic and could mean anything but ultimately it means fully surrendering to God and allowing our minds to be transformed by the renewal of the mind.
Strong-willed, Determined, Purposeful and Teachable.
This definition is subject to change, such is the beauty of the mind and of life, that we are constantly growing and redefining our thoughts on certain topics. Which is why I decided to share some tips gathered from my loved ones and friends on tips we would give our younger selves:
- Be brave and Live courageously. Your shrinking daisy lifestyle isn’t helping you and it isn’t helping anyone around you. I know that you are fearful of what the future holds and if you will ever figure things out. Trust that God has got you and always let your light shine. Keep your chin up kid, I am always rooting for you. Hugs and kisses.
- Comparison really is the thief of joy. Try to enjoy each step of the journey to your goal and don’t undermine what you’re doing because you think your contemporaries have “arrived”. P:S In three years, you won’t care about half the things you’re chasing or the opinion of most of the people you’re trying to impress.
- Be kind to yourself, you are the only you that will ever exist so love her and give her time to grow. Solomon was right, there is a season for everything and nothing is gained by trying to rush into every new thing you see.
- Be your authentic self and learn what that means for you. The earlier you do, the better. Also, Anastasia Beverly Hills is NOT the way forward…
- Be more transparent with your mom especially on matters relevant to girls and/or women. Even if the ‘girl talks’ aren’t initiated by her, even if you want to blame her (lol) still try your best.
- You are stronger than you think and you are not defined by your past. Explore more and take risks. You are very beautiful and continue to be confident in this. Never settle for less and know what God tells you for each season. Understand that no one can fill the space in your heart, rather allow yourself to heal.
- Don’t be too hard on yourself. Understand that your strength and courage comes from God, who loves you. Have faith that everything is working out because He is the author of your story.
Huge thanks to all the awesome women in my life who shared their wisdom and lessons with me. Also, Happy International Women’s Day to all the amazing ladies out there that are killing it in their spheres of influence. I pray in all our endeavors that we are able to bring glory to God.