She Lives

I didn’t flinch.

I was born into a home that celebrates the divine feminine
in which even my dad, the most manly man I know
Who has worked his whole life with his hands
Would ride his riding lawn mower around the yard
With a fluffy pink steering-wheel cover and
When the school bus would pull up to drop me off everybody would peer
out the bus windows and he would yell over the noise to me,
“I’m just bringing out my feminine side!” with a hearty laugh that
showed me it was okay for gender to blur the lines– that it didn’t make
A man less of a man to proudly display pink in public

I was born into a home where your gender was not matched with your likes

And my parents didn’t think twice about buying my baby sister
a “Cool Tools Power Tool Set” so she could play when dad played tools each
Saturday, when he would dream up a new project to do around the house
Sally would follow in his footsteps, hammering the side of the wall with her plastic
hammer and carefully putting her tools together on her workbench while Dad cleaned up

I grew up in a home with two parents
Self-educated and self-made through hard work who
Raised their two daughters to not only speak their own voices–but to own them

To not whisper our desires but to shout and proclaim

And to boldly ask for the things we wanted– feminine or masculine
Our identities and our desires were not drawn out into a dichotomy of pink and blue

My mother.

My mother who has kept her hair short her entire adult life
Who wears flannel and rarely uses full make-up or a mirror
taught me that I am absolutely beautiful,
taught me that my beauty comes from my heart, and from a God who loves me
regardless of how often I wash my hair or fill in my eyebrows or lengthen my eyelashes

And at 28– I have come to love those things.

I love embracing my womanhood through over the top jewelry
Tall boots and dresses that designers did not make with my breasts in mind.

But I also understand that these outward appearances do not change my spirit

They do not confine me or bind me to stay within a certain expectation society has placed on me
That the media and magazines have reinforced
That the men of my generation have come to expect

I was not expecting you

Or your conversations about my lifestyle
I didn’t flinch. Not once did I

Reconsider myself,

It was in that moment that I was reminded the divine feminine had not left me
She was embodied in me and I embraced her

Long after you paid for your coffee and left.

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