Becoming a Woman:

Blessed is the woman who understands
that she doesn't need to be undressed
to receive quality time and attention.
And blessed is the man
who has no deceit in his plans
to get with a woman solely for her looks
and physical affection.
I used to think I could have peace of mind
by giving a guy a piece of mine,
but little did I know
they were only self-inflicted wounds.
Each time he got what he wanted, 
it was on to the next.
Like love was some sort of temporary thing.
Like sex was the only way for a girl's left hand to show off a ring.
Like I was just... another girl. 
Yeah, just that.

These wounds never healed to become scars,
instead they just grew deeper.
I was stuck in a cycle of only taking what I can get, 
placing high value on simple acts that
a lover should've been doing
in the first place.
All because the first one strung me along,
the second played the game too well,
and the third never saw enough worthiness in me
to just speak the truth.

See after awhile pain doesn't ring a bell anymore
and you start hurting people
the way they've hurt you.
I'm guilty in that sense.
Relationships became disposable,
I was in it for myself.
But being selfish feels good
only for a little bit
'til you realize that you've become somebody unfamiliar.
This society makes us think
it's better to be a "savage" 
so hearts get broken
bridges are burned
and it doesn't even phase you, 
that you're the one responsible for damage.

Yet during the whole game
I became a liability for myself,
not seeing the difference between
those who really cared for me
and the ones who existed to become future lessons.
I used to believe blindness only occurred in sight
but I found that my heart was so guarded
it could barely even grasp the feeling of love and remorse.
Someone's genuine interest in me was taken as manipulation.
Ironically I was the one accepting the invitation, 
only to purposely give disappointment in return.

But today I call myself a woman.
I'm no longer a girl.
Because when I was a girl
I let them get comfortable enough to walk all over me.
When I was a girl, 
I played with revenge to my advantage.
When I was a girl, 
I didn't know who I really wanted to be.
But as a woman, 
I prefer to let a man undress my mind, 
dig deep and dig slow
to learn about my deepest thoughts
and all the things I love and fear. 
I ask for him to touch me mentally, 
get intimate with my soul,
and to never, ever again let my past take control.

Transitioning from girlhood to womanhood
is finding self-love in the process
of heartache and understanding.
It's learning that it's okay to say no,
you're never worth any less for doing so.
It's seeking solidarity in women who
support you, nurture you, and love on you
without demanding reciprocation.
It's being you, all of you,
in the rawest sense,
so gentle and rough at the same time.

Alina Amkhavong