What Does It Mean...?

What does it mean to be a woman?  

Has anyone figured that out yet? 

And if you have, could you please tell me? 

I read this article (a few minutes before writing this post, actually), and it mentioned many things about women and how the characters of Sex and the City represent us, and I began to think "Yes, I can identify with -insert character here-."  

But then I began to think a little bit deeper. Why do I identify with -fill in the blank-? What is it about her that reminds me of me? And is there something wrong if she reminds me of me? 

In case you didn't know, folks, I'm only 22. I've only really started to view myself and refer to myself as a woman. At 18 or 19, I was still very much a girl. Mature as I was for my age, I was still incredibly naive, and very unsure of myself. I didn't know where I fell in line or where I should step.  

I knew, very basically, how I felt about things like sex, religion, politics, men, people, and the world. I knew that I didn't believe in sex before marriage. I knew that I believed in a relationship and not a religion. I knew that politics were not worth my time. I knew that men were attractive but uninteresting. And I didn't like most people. 

And here I am, 3 or 4 years later, and sex before marriage is, sometimes, a gray area (even thought it shouldn't be), it's still about a relationship and not necessarily a religion, politics are still (kind of) not worth my time, the right men can be attractive and interesting, and a lot of people really just need a hug (aka love). 

All of that is fine and dandy but none of those beliefs really make me a woman. We could be scientific and say that, because I have a certain set of parts, that makes me a woman, but I think it goes beyond that.  

There is something about women. We can be described by many adjectives; fierce, lovely, nurturing, warm, caring, beautiful, classy, sexy, trashy, slutty, loose, pretty, funny, smart, dumb, etc. We can be classified as a few things; mother, sister, daughter, friend, wife, girlfriend, lover, mentor, etc.

Take a handful of those adjectives and a few of those classifications, add them your beliefs and you've got yourself about 75% of what makes up a woman. But where's the other 25%? What is that extra part that is the dividing line between little girl and grown woman? 

For me, it's been hard to determine what really makes me a woman now, as opposed to a little girl. I can't really put my finger on it.

It's not the body parts, or the age, or the "grade level" in school, or the sense of style. 

Maybe it's when I learned to let go of childhood traumas and things I cannot change. Maybe it's when I began really trusting God with my future, as well as my present. Maybe it's when I realized that I can, one day, have children or get married or both, and that the two do not always have to go together.
Or maybe it's when I realized that life, even my own life, is not always about me, and that sometimes, other people do come first.  

I'm not sure when it was. 

But I think I can look in the mirror today and say with confidence and authority, that I am a woman.  

So, what's next? 

Am I supposed to roar?