Judith Osinaike: The journey to womanhood (30 Days, 30 Voices)

Beyond the biological, physiological and psychological intricacies of our gender, I have come to understand albeit within a context of rigorous and inquisitive soul searching that there is more to being a woman than meets the eye.

When a girl reaches the threshold of womanhood at the crossroads of adolescence, there is a heightened sense of self and life generally. Our emotions, will and intellect surge and are braced to tackle the impending conflict between expectations and stark reality. You stand at the precipice and realise it is just you against the world. There is no turning back; the very path that leads to growing up must be travelled. The war within begins; the battle between anxiety and hope, doubt and faith, a gripping crave for ‘me’- centeredness and an unquenchable yearning for selfless love. You look ahead and the road seems endless, all you ever see is where you are, even as you aspire for the slightest glimpse of the end. The heart begins to question self; are you ready for this? Do you really want this? What if this, and why not that? The gap between the known and unknown widens continually.

Alas, you take the first step into this journey and you realise that you are not alone in this dilemma. All over the world, millions of young women like you and I are embarking on this journey irrespective of their uniqueness, peculiarities, flaws and strengths. Quite retrospectively, I am compelled to re-task my heart to rather ask; what is the purpose of this journey, and how can I maximise my uniqueness, my peculiarity, my flaws and strengths in the course of this journey?

If only and only if, you and I on this journey will re-task our hearts, will we be able to accept and really come to terms with the very essence of this journey. I mean the very essence of womanhood on planet earth. Beyond the biological, physiological and psychological intricacies of our gender, I have come to understand albeit within a context of rigorous and inquisitive soul searching that there is more to being a woman than meets the eye.

You are not alone. The world is your garden. Though an imperfect one, where you plant roses and it gets overgrown with thistles and thorns before your very eyes. A world where sheep have the fangs of wolves, and butterflies have the tails of scorpions. Severally at a point in the journey, it becomes unbearably overwhelming and all you can do is build a wall. While it gives you a fleeting sense of protection, you awake the next dawn to realise that you are fenced in. Experience, rationality, personal beliefs and values, and assumptions about life are your building blocks. Well cemented into the mind over time, you are defended but only few of us realise in time that we are actually fenced in.

Then the struggle begins. Your own protection begins to suffocate you. “I have to get out of here”, we tell ourselves. I have to keep moving. You have to keep moving. We have to keep moving. But first, we have to pull down our own strongholds. We have to put away the baggage that weighs us down, so that we can gain motion with ease. We have to be strong just enough to reach out to another, yet vulnerable enough to get help when it is most needed. In the midst of all this, we can’t watch, you can’t wait. As a girl-friend, fiancée, wife, or mother; this is your journey and your destination belongs to you.

The journey is not straight, has never been and never will be. Why you may ask?

The very answer you seek lies within and about you. Stand before a mirror with a pen and paper. Now make a list of just five points of your biological self, which starts straight and ends straight. Look deep into yourself and you will see that you are the essence of this world. Mountains and valleys, brooks and crooked paths, hills, streams, rivers, seas and the oceans. Each playing its part in creation by divine design. Our design attests to the architecture of our very planet. You and I cannot take this for granted.

Therefore, let your attitude soar to unexplored altitudes of gratitude. Appreciate your uniqueness, understand your peculiarities, embrace your flaws and engage your strengths to boundless degrees. Look at yourself from head to toe and you will see and understand the ultimate design of your journey. You have to keep moving, knowing most assuredly that you are not alone.


Judith Osinaike is a Barrister/Solicitor, a motivational speaker & humanitarian. She has over the years acquired skills & experience both at home & abroad. She loves to smile & see others smile too. She is happily married.


30 Days 30 Voices series is an opportunity for young Nigerians to share their stories and experiences with other young Nigerians, within our borders and beyond, to inspire and motivate them.


Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

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