Actions in Activities, Musings

How To Be a Girl

“If I were a boy, life would be so much better. No one would care what I wore or what I did.” She looked up at the enormity of the sky outside her window, laid her small head of matted, mouse brown hair on a pink Barbie pillow, and fell asleep.

“I have hips. When did that happen?” She sits on an examination table in a cold doctor’s office, looks down and notices her own, fully formed body for the first time.

I went directly from being a little girl to being a woman. At least, that’s how it feels. Those years that most girls get to grow accustomed to their bodies were stripped from me. No, I get it. Everyone is awkward during puberty. But I wasn’t just awkward, I was resentful. From the time I was 9 until this past year, I resented and hated the fact that I am female. During those years, the only emotions I truly felt at all were anger and hatred, so of course that was the only way I could view myself or my body. My parents never taught me to think this way, it was the 905dfa71e173a5a222272b7585f56c14pervasiveness of the ideologies of the purity movement in our church and homeschool community that hammered it into my brain, but the purity mindset was still encouraged. I am the one who took the encouragement a step further. The feminine form was something to be hidden, if not ashamed of. I still hated skirts, because all things that are feminine were weak and therefore must be eschewed. So, I wore boys jeans even though I was beginning to get tiny teen hips and they didn’t really fit right. I wore unisex t-shirts and sports bras almost exclusively. It wasn’t hard at all. It’s easier to find clothes when you just need to cover your shameful nakedness and hide your seductive form.

I recently got cast in a play at school, and it’s been so, so good for me. I realised that I still often carry myself like I’m ashamed to be alive, even though I’m happier now than I ever have been. I slouch. I mumble. I look at the ground when I walk. I avoid eye contact. As far as I’ve come, I’m still not used to being a girl. But I noticed something else. One day at rehearsal our director was talking about not being ourselves on stage, but being our characters. Mrs. Martin is a very posh, English gentlewoman. She crosses her ankles when she sits, with her shoulders back and head held high. Whereas I sit hunched over with elbows rested on the desk in front of me, my legs either out in front or tucked up under my seat. The first time I felt this dissonance between myself and a character I was portraying was at comic-con last spring. I was cosplaying for the first time, and I had chosen Snow White from Once Upon a Time in her huntress get-up. As I walked through the crowded hallways I noticed my attitude. I was standing straighter, but walking more urgently. Like the hunted princess. I was running from the Evil Queen (who, incidentally, is by far my favorite character), and it was all I could do to keep from breaking out into a sprint.

So, what now? Well, I have lines and blocking to memorize. Lines for Mrs. Elizabeth Martin, and blocking for Ms. Annie Hall. There is still so much character development in the works. Who is this girl with such a complicated past and such an ambitious future? How does she carry herself across this stage? She is a princess and a storykeeper. She carries herself with grace and love and confidence. What is her motivation? Life. Vivacious, glorious, abundant, splendid, Life.

Musings, Short

To My Brothers And Sisters

A while back I posted on Facebook asking our friends for suggestions about blog topics. Someone said I should talk about purity. I don’t think I have ever addressed this subject that so many are obsessed with.

I don’t like the “purity” movement. I don’t think it leaves room for openness and honesty with our brothers and sisters. And, I think it has a lot of ramifications that go unnoticed.

I have noticed an alarming number of unwed 20-somethings. When found in the secular culture everyone assumes it is because they are avoiding commitment etc, but why are there so many in the Christian homeschooling community? Shouldn’t we be marrying and “taking dominion of the earth”? There is at least one issue with this. Guys and girls aren’t allowed to talk to each other much. In the immortal words of Widow Paroo,

“It’s a well-known principle that if you keep the flint in one drawer and the steel in the other, you’ll never strike much of a fire.”

The main reason is that in the quest to keep from thinking “impure” thoughts, guys and girls neglect 1 Timothy 5:1-2.

Don’t be harsh or impatient with an older man. Talk to him as you would your own father, and to the younger men as your brothers. Reverently honor an older woman as you would your mother, and the younger women as sisters.

Since we only view a member of the opposite sex as someone’s future mate, girls and guys usually end up just, well, avoiding each other. This is so wrong! We are both created in the image of God, and are told by Him to treat each other like siblings!  

The worst part that it takes the focus away. Instead of focusing on walking with God as a family, we avoid each other and talk about how fantastic it is to do so! How about be open and humble with each other. We all have struggles, we all need grace, we all long for support. As children of the Most High King, we are not only princes and princesses, but brothers and sisters. Not all princes are Prince Charming, most of them are our brothers. Let’s treat them that way.