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From Girl to Woman

Updated: Dec 21, 2022

Written July 17th, 2021

This morning I woke up to a text from my mom that sent me into tears. They scheduled Becker to be euthanized on Monday (July 19th). So my morning was spent scrolling through old photos and videos, compiling those of Becker boy. But as a consequence, I also got lost in watching all the old videos on my phone - from feeding the AJ the squirrel in my bedroom on Philo, to a street performer serenading in the center of Copenhagen all decorated in Christmas lights, to a video with Grace and Hannah riding in the car, belting Classico by Tenacious D. I had a morning full of nostalgia.

(See videos attached below, for the fun of it.)

I also had the feeling this morning that I am taking another step into Womanhood. There is no set moment when one goes from girl to woman, outside of cultural milestones - menstruation, quinceañera, turning 18, etc. Identifying as a woman, and no longer as a girl, is something different. The past six months have brought more loss for me than ever before, at least in terms of external loss. I am feeling my age. There was a loss of identity when my mother got her DNA results back from Ancestry. Then there was the loss of my Grandma Julie. I lost my two pet rats, Reggie and Rudy. I lost my beloved purple ’97 Ford Escort with the 666 carved into the hood. I lost my savings to car troubles. My boyfriend and I broke up. I stepped away from my first adult job after college. And now I am losing my childhood dog, my brother Becker.

Yet everywhere I have had loss, there has been new growth. I have learned more about my family than ever before. I adopted cats in place of the rats. I now drive a more reliable car with nothing carved into the hood. I am on a soul-searching journey, and I carry faith that my path will find me. I am reconnecting with God / the Universe / Nature. And I am falling in love with myself, as a woman, so I know who I am when I find the right man. I believe a new family dynamic will fill the void of Becker’s loss.

Death in all forms is necessary for new life. I have accepted the life-death-life cycle, and I have accepted change as the only constant. With this perspective, I live in a sustained state of gratitude for everything and everyone that is here in this moment with me. I do not fear loss, because I know it is inevitable. I step forward in awe of both creation and destruction. This is what makes me feel like a woman.

AJ the squirrel



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