The pillar

I have a pillar upon which I base a great deal. The pillar is this: you can be a woman at 23 and a girl at 36. Age does not determine maturity, confidence, independence or wisdom – all things I think women have. I have known far too many 36 year old girls – they determine their abilities, worth and understanding of the world upon the reflection of themselves that they see in the people around them. What a man thinks of these girls is what they think of themselves.

My question is, can you be a man at 23 and a boy at 36? Or are the male of the species always boys?

I ask this because I have had a rather unusual few weeks. I met a man. Now, I recognize that I have repeated again and again on this page the following two things with near glee:

  1. Boys are a drug and I’ve gone cold turkey, and
  2. No boys for one year

But did you notice that I used the word man? This individual has had more confidence, persistence and guts than any boy I’ve come across in the last few years and to me, those three things are part of what should define a man. There’s a catch though, a reason for my inquiry…he’s only 24. And I am reminded of my pillar when I think about the age difference between us.

Time will only tell. He is sweet and tall and cute. He is a gentleman and he is keen on me with an eagerness that is a little uncomfortable because let’s face it, the boys in my life have the nasty habit of dropping me like a toy six days after Christmas.

The quiet, patient and consistent attention has made me wonder somethings about myself too. I came up with the pillar when I was 23 as a self-defense mechanism. It was a way to help me move forward with my head held high after a bad break-up. The pillar has been repeated in the following years after every failed romantic interlude and angst ridden “what if.” The knowledge that I was the better choice, I was a woman and whomever my Romeo had chosen instead of me was both a girl and a decision, that he would regret.

But I think, now, maybe I was wrong. I think that the pillar was missing a foundation piece…guts. The guts to not only stand in the spotlight a man puts on you when he is overcome by all that you are and sees the beauty so many others have passed by, but also the guts to confront the unease that attention creates and address it head on. Personally, I’ve always tended to run, I’d fly instead of fight.

So yesterday, knowing I was about to fly from this man, from the terror I felt and the instinct to drop him like a hot potato, I chose to stand up and put my fears out there. I chose to fight. I’ve finally gotten the guts to be a woman and it took a 24 year old man to bring it out of me.

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