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International Women’s Day: My Personal Growth

Today, is a very inspiring day for women. When I think about women, and what it means to me to be a woman, I look back at my growth. I will be honest and admit, I wasn’t always a positive person.

Growing up, I said phrases like “I don’t get along with girls,” or “girls don’t like me.” Operative word being girls. I was immature, and I thought other females were the enemy. I grew with a lot of women who were always in some sort of competition. There was this perpetual cattiness, so some of my best friends were male. I had female friends, but I felt closer to my guy friends. With that, other girls made assumptions and we were all pitted against one another. It’s outrageous looking back.

I was in fights and constantly trying to stand up to some mean girl. I felt like a crusader some days, but other days, I felt pretty alone. I always thought less of myself, so when a girl bullied me, I became the mean one. I didn’t start the bullying, but I finished it. I’m not proud of some of the fights. I am proud for standing up for others, but I always felt on edge. I don’t think I ever really learned how to relax, even still. I’m trying though.

We’ve all grown, and now, I respect women so much. When I was young, I was scared of a lot of things, but I hid behind a head-strong mask. I was insecure and always tried to hide it. I realized I was also attracted to both men and women.

My feelings and attractions were one of the few things I wasn’t afraid of, but I wasn’t very forth coming about it either. A few close friends know that to me, love is about feelings, not body parts. Not really sure what “label” I’d fall under, because before I met my current husband, I was open to love with anyone no matter what gender they identified as.

Adolescence was a fight in and of itself, so once I got to college, I felt like I could be more myself. I actually laughed when I was put into a women and gender studies class. I thought it’d be a bunch of crazy, bra burning women. Let me just say, that class changed my life.

All it took was one class and an amazing professor for me to change my concentration to women’s and gender studies. I still had a major in English, but I wanted to keep up with the women’s and gender studies. I felt like I could fit in, and I met some amazing people.

College taught me that women have been pitted against each other constantly, but if I dropped my defense, I could see the truth. Truth is, women supporting women is what the world needs. We are a force and a force that needs to stand together.

I love women. They are beautiful, magical, and strong creatures. I’m so proud to be a women. I’m proud to have a daughter. Today, is the day to celebrate women and our growth in history. I also wanted to celebrate my personal growth.

I went from a scrappy little, closed-minded girl to a positive, strong women. I embrace who I am as a women, and I hope others can do the same. We are better as a whole, because we all bring a uniqueness that fits together that a incredible puzzle.

Happy International Women’s Day!

-Jenni

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