I saw it today in writing. It was on a Facebook message from a colleague and it hit me. The letters read: “WOMAN.” Supposedly, somewhere between age twenty-five and now, it happened. I became a woman.
My years of circumventing this term are long gone. Yesterday, I was a girl. Today—a woman? Just like that? What is the defining age? Twenty-five, thirty, thirty-five, forty? I am almost embarrassed, okay I am embarrassed to say that I still consider myself a girl. But according to the stats, I am not. I am woman! Hear me roar all right—Helen Reddy.
So with this realization comes loads of questions. What is the main difference?
What does a woman do differently than a girl? Hmm—which do men prefer? I could list the questions for this entire post but let’s not get bored with that.
I did some research and the most interesting explanation that I discovered was: “A woman is the finished puzzle and a girl is just the pieces.”
Wow! So am I completely put together with no missing pieces? Even in the complicated center?
When I look back on my life thus far, I look at how far I have come. But as a late bloomer, I also know how far there is to go.
Moving to New York City was the biggest piece of my life puzzle. My desire to be here for decades finally happened. Talk about the power of positive thinking—forty years of it to be exact.
But now that I am here, that doesn’t automatically complete the puzzle. I have asked my husband the question. “Why do you think I came to New York?” My intellectual, analytical self believes that there is some unknown reason that has yet to be unveiled. Mike’s answer is, “Maybe like a lot of others, you came here just to be. For them, being is enough.”
Luckily, he did not respond with what he was thinking, “Because you have been beating me down for the last eight years of our lives talking about New York City non-stop!”
Seriously, I ask myself, is the Tracy Kaler puzzle complete? For many, being is all that they need. For me, it is a step in the right direction. I have led an interesting life, and like most, not without its hardships and challenges. But my puzzle may be more intricate, and more difficult to assemble than others.
The few remaining pieces are important however. These are unlike the “biggest” section of the puzzle, which was relocating to Manhattan. These are tiny pieces, but they belong in the center. Being in New York will surely fit the last of these into place. Then I can say goodbye to “girlhood” once and for all.