Today’s topic makes me smile because I am currently reading Michelle Obama’s autobiographical memoir of the same name. I love the idea that we are not simply who we are, nor are our personalities and selves constant. Instead, we are constantly evolving; we are becoming who we are meant to be.
On the topic of becoming, Anne Wilson Schaef writes:
We live in a society that puts so much emphasis upon youth, looks, and attractiveness that we have very few models for womanliness.
Without knowing how to get there, we are suddenly expected to be women and to have the wisdom and stature of a woman.
In a society that knows little about process, there is an assumption that one is a little girl and then suddenly one is a woman. In our sexualized culture, becoming a woman almost always is linked to our sexuality. Womanhood is much more than being sexual and producing babies. Womanhood is the progressive process of bringing all we have to offer as persons to ourselves and those around us.
There was never a single defining moment at which I felt like an adult. Probably the one that most stands out to me, if you were to ask, would be when I finally got my own health insurance at the age of 25. When I started making enough money to support myself, and my father could no longer claim me as his dependent. The next time after that was probably when I picked up the bill for our table when out to dinner with him and my now-husband.
To be honest, I still don’t feel like a “grown up.” In my head, I am still in many ways the same insecure little girl or teenager I once was. In fact, I think that’s one of the best kept secret of adulthood: No one really feels old or like they are a true grown adult. If you think about it, we are continually changing, growing, and evolving until the day we die. So of course we don’t feel complete at any one particular point in our lives. We are always becoming. That holds the promise of constant growth and change, which reassures me. I will always get better and improve with age.