One week from now, I’ll be in surgery.
A doctor will be making some little cuts and using his fancy robot video game thing to remove some bits of Me.
My emotions have been all over the place for the past many weeks. Some days, I just cry to myself for 3o seconds at a time before wiping them away and going back to binge watching OITNB or Gilmore Girls. Other days, I’m indignant and defiant and SO ready to get this DEMON organ out of me–this organ that’s caused me so much pain.
When I’m around friends who have seen the worst days, it’s harder not to cry. I’m one of those people who always gets choked up when someone loves on me. Always have been. I’m constantly one hug away from being misty-eyed.
I’m a logical person. I know that my womanness isn’t wrapped up in my body parts. I know that being a woman really and truly, is NOT just about biology. I know that because of my love for my Trans friends, ladies who embody the Female spirit no matter what their chromosomes say. I know that because of friends who’ve had mastectomies after breast cancer. I know that because of friends who’ve lost children, or never had them at all.
But I also know that because of how I feel about this experience.
I admit it. I have wept at the idea of losing the body parts that society says are “what makes me a woman” through this surgery. I have. But I’ve also felt very connected to the non-physical part of my femininity over the past few days too. Which has made me think a lot about what being a woman really is.
Being a woman is about being confident and self-assured and sometimes insecure.
Being a woman is about being strong in a culture that wasn’t necessarily designed to build up your identity.
Being a woman is wearing the clothes you want because you want to.
Being a woman is being a creator… of music or words or babies or cupcakes or bookshelves or good conversation or earrings or guitars or relationships or napkin origami or silence.
Being a woman is being told who you are and what you’re supposed to be by other people all the time and still having the fortitude to define yourself (and redefine yourself again and again).
Being a woman is loving who you are, exactly as you are, even when you’re a little bit weird/rude/annoying/silly/perfect.
Being a woman is about liking what you like and not apologizing for it.
Being a woman is about being open and transparent if you want and private and isolated if you want.
Being a woman is about knowing yourself and getting to know yourself at the same time.
It’s funny. This experience has shown me that being a woman is simply about being a woman. There are no rules. No criteria.
I keep telling myself over and over that even when women lose their ovaries or breasts or hair or WHATEVER physical component of a person society says are solely for girls, they’re still whole.
Somehow, human beings are always more than the sum of their parts. It’s a miracle, really, that people can lose things and still be complete.
I am scared.
But not about losing my womanhood.
There isn’t a surgery in the world that can take that.