How I got to be Such a Tomboy

I went from this in 5th grade…

…to this in 6th. So much happier because I was finally allowed to get my hair cut and wear boys’ clothes.

A couple of posts back, I wrote about the word ‘tomboy’ and how I’ve come to see it differently. I’ve thought a lot about the whole notion of being a tomboy and have a lot to say about it, at least about the kind of tomboy I was.

Why? Well, I’ve spent much of my life wondering why I was such a tomboy. As a kid I’d look around at the other girls–my sister, cousins, the girls in school, girls at church–and think How can they be happy? How can they be OK with it? How can they stand it? Am I the only one who hates being a girl? Why? Why don’t they feel like I do? 

My question was never, “Why was I a tomboy?” (I got that; I had two older brothers and wanted to do what they did and be just like them, I was born with a strong and capable body and delighted in seeing all that it could do, I had a natural affinity for the out-of-doors and nature, and I spent much of my childhood in a rural area. Exploring in the woods, weeds, dirt, and water, catching critters, running and jumping around, throwing things and climbing, riding bikes–those things were fun!) My question was, “Why did I become such an extreme, anti-anything-feminine tomboy?”

It’s taken many years, but I think I finally have it figured out  (and I share it here because I’ve never read anything on this, and I would’ve liked to. I would’ve liked to know I was not alone in this and that someone else understood. I know I can’t be the only one to have ever felt this way. There must be others out there. I’ve talked to people who can relate to a point, but never to anyone who can totally relate. So here it is, for those of you who were like  me–or still are–and would be glad to know you’re not alone, or for those of you who might better understand such a tomboy by reading this): Read the rest of this entry »