Art by Nat Girsberger

I have very strong masculine and feminine energies, and balancing these two polarities is something that I’m constantly working on.

I can be very fierce, forceful, and intense; but at the same time I am very passive, caring, and motherly.

The first half of my twenties, I embodied my feminine side. After a hard break up with my first boyfriend in my mid twenties, I became very embodied in my masculine side, and deserted my nurturing side — out of pure protection for my heart.

When my relationship ended, it changed me. It hardened me and propelled me into this new way of thinking about life.

This ending launched me into a lifestyle of really allowing me to express my free spiritedness for the first time. I really started to question things that society just tells you to do… like get married, have children and buy a home. After my questions brought me many answers, I started to despise these things.

I entertained the thoughts that children and marriage were not for me. I feared becoming someone’s ‘property’ and I didn’t want to sacrifice my life for a child. I wanted to see the world and reach my potential, but it turns out, neglecting that life wasn’t the answer either.

I became this person where I intensely expressed my independence and my need to be fierce and respected. I think partly why I was so expressive of a non-homely life and felt the need to show the world I didn’t need anyone, was because I was so hurt after my relationship; I became my trauma. I put myself in the mindset of, “How can I make sure I am never disrespected again? How can I make sure I am living my life for me?” And my way of doing this was to completely cut off this side of me that is domestic and caring. I shunned my feminine side because I saw it as a weakness.

Fast forward to now, 5 years later, I am becoming aware of how much I miss my feminine energy and how much I love that side of me — that side that I casted away into the shadows out of fear that I would never know who I was if I pursued it.

While I realize now I need that loving feminine side, there is no way I could continue on without observing my wild side. This adventurous, wanderlust spirit that isn’t afraid of the world. This side of me that lights up when she travels, whose mind is always seeking to grow. The side that speaks her mind and knows who she is. The side of me that knows what she will and will not put up with, who knows what she likes and doesn’t. These things are a part of who I am now….But I know I can’t live in just one or the other. I need both… I need my feminine and masculine energy in balance.

So, the question is now, “How can I be wild and free while still honoring this loving and nurturing side?” I want to commend this side of me that yearns to grow and expand, but at the same time celebrate my desire to be grounded.

My fierceness and strong opinions these last 5 years have allowed to me grow into someone I’ve always wanted to be. But now that I am that person, I still feel incomplete. I see now that all of these desires are outside of myself, everything I’ve been chasing, was always within.

These ideals are no longer me; I don’t need them to be the driver of my life anymore. I am proud of the woman I am now because of them, and aspects of them will carry on with me.

It’s like I’m stepping out of this person that I am and walking into a higher version of myself. I still have these parts of me, but one is no longer stronger than the other.

I think we spend so much time talking about growth, but there is a difference between talking about it, and actually stepping into the role, and submitting to the changes. These last 7 months, I’ve truly surrendered by starting to unpack old beliefs and basque in the humility of my wanting to change.

This letting go process, this shedding of my old self image, is rather uncomfortable. It’s forcing me to look at my shadows with honesty and accountability. It takes a lot of willingness to let go of these limiting thought patterns I’ve developed. I’ve conditioned myself that I need these beliefs in order to prove something; to myself and the outside world.

The death of these narratives means I shift into a higher being. I’m choosing to lean into this new person I am becoming with diffidence. This is simply an obstacle I am overcoming in order to realign. These ‘mistakes’ and learning processes I am going through are nothing but innocent discoveries of who I am not. What is my new narrative? Should I even have one?

“We must be willing to let go of the life we planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”

- Joseph Campbell