At 27 years old, I still awkwardly refer to myself as a girl because I don’t feel as though I’ve fulfilled my full womanly potential. I am not as timeless as Josephine Baker, or as regal as Viola Davis. I am not as sexy as Gabrielle Union, or as moisturized as Lupita Nyong’o. I am not incredibly witty, talented, or lush. While I encompass a small portion of each positive trait mentioned, I haven’t dominated any of them and I do not know that I ever will.
A woman, to me, is a person who has mastered moving in silence, and I still post many of my moves to social media. It is a person who speaks with eloquence, while I stutter and speak quickly when excited. A person that has confidence in themselves on their own, as I still hope my boo continues to call me 'beautiful' daily. A woman has ambition, passion, and desire which reflects strength, attractiveness, and self-discipline.
I believe an issue I have seen amongst some women is the confusion between appreciation and envy. When I see women succeed, I take inspiration from their journey, applaud them, and attempt to apply it to myself in some way. How can I, a couch potato, achieve the glorious abdomen of Teyana Taylor? How can I, a style-less peasant, become as stylish as Laverne Cox? How can I, a regular person, attain the awesomeness of director, producer and screenwriter, Ava DuVernay? The answer is I may never accomplish those goals, but I am so incredibly in awe of the women who have. They’re inspiration. I will retweet your post, drunkenly compliment you in the club restroom, pray for your continued progress and triumphs, while speaking your amazing into continued existence. All of this in hopes that I, a girl, can one day become like you, a woman.
Women are powerhouses, from the Egyptian deity Isis to Oprah and Cleopatra to Beyoncé. Them making an impact is not a new phenomenon and with the confidence of fulfilling true womanly potential, there will be no settling. Girls are becoming women every day, starting movements like Tarana Burke’s #MeToo, breaking barriers like Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman film, or reclaiming time like Maxine Waters. Girls are seeing their potential and I hope soon, I can do the same.
Kristin Murray was born and raised in Arlington, VA, but currently lives in PG County, MD. This is her 6th year in Education and she is currently a Reading Specialist for elementary school students in uptown Washington, DC. She has also taught in South Korea and Thailand, giving her the inspiration to write “Teaching in Thailand… While Black”. She is currently studying for her Doctorate in Education but loves travel, artistry, and as corny as it sounds, love.
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