Yes. I am a grown woman.
But I am more than that as well. In a vital, life giving way, I am also a girl and the girl and the woman in me coexist.
I am not saying that part of me is a girl in a separate kind of psychological-inner-child-John-Bradshaw way. I am saying that I am a girl just as much I am a woman, both at the same time.
We’re great friends, my girl and my woman.
When I saw the pictures of Tippi, the little girl who was raised in the wild by her photographer parents, I could relate to her—to her free spirit, to her untamed responses to her surroundings, to her joy and sheer delight.
When I saw the incredible pictures of Tippi, I saw pictures of my girl.
For most of my life however, I had not known my girl. The last time I had seen her she was lying in a bed in an orphanage outside Philadelphia where she promised herself not to feel anything because feeling things hurt too much. She went down inside a deep well which she thought would be the best place to keep her feelings from bursting out and I didn’t see her again until I began filling buckets from that well with my woman tears. One day, when I pulled one of the buckets back up out of the well, it brought my girl with it to the surface.
I had literally cried her to the top.
Today, my girl doesn’t live in the wild like Tippi, but still she sees the sun when it comes up in the morning as if she has never seen it before. She paints pictures and hangs them all on the refrigerator door of Facebook. She thinks she can not only sing, but sing opera. She dances. She plays the piano. She gets dressed up and wears high heeled shoes and she gets dressed down and goes barefoot. She cooks and straightens up and feels like she is playing house when she does it.
She tells stories—lots and lots of stories.
My girl not only thinks the whole world loves her, but she loves herself. She is resolute and tender, knows who she is and doesn’t doubt herself. Above all, she realizes that the decision she made all those years ago to never feel anything again was the decision of a child made by a child without the input of her woman.
Today, my girl knows that as a woman/girl we can feel any feelings that come our way and together, we are no longer afraid.
The point at which I, the girl and I, the woman intersect is the source of my wisdom and joy, the source of my spontaneity, creativity, intuition, and insight. I am not insulted in the least if somebody notices the girl in me and calls her out.
Go ahead, call me girl. It’s a compliment and tells me that you see all of me.
I encourage any woman or man who has left their girl or boy behind to go back and get them. Cry out the tears that need to be cried out, pound out the anger that needs to be pounded out. Do whatever it takes. Go back and get the girl or boy wherever you left them, in the living room when your parents broke up, in the classroom where you were bullied or shamed, at your grandparents’ house where you met a stranger and had to keep secrets, or at the funeral parlor.
Wherever that boy or girl is go back and get them.
Become acquainted with them again. It’s worth every effort. It’s never too late to be Tippi.
Author: Carmelene Siani
Editor: Khara-Jade Warren
Image: Troy Williams/ Flickr