As I was walking back home from school, my mind was filled with conflicting emotions. We were asked in class what it feels like to be a woman. On one hand, I loved the little things that came with being a woman – the way I could style my hair, the way I could feel beautiful and confident. But on the other hand, the burden of societal expectations weighed heavily on me.

At home, I was expected to take on womanly duties – cleaning, cooking, and taking care of the household. Outside, people were constantly commenting on my appearance, making me feel self-conscious and uncomfortable. And at school, while I felt most like myself, I still struggled with the changes that puberty was bringing.

But despite all this, I knew that I could be strong and intelligent, just like I had always wanted to be. And as I entered my house, I was reminded of the love and support of those around me. My favorite teacher, who always made me feel safe, and my friends who laughed and joked with me – they were the ones who truly mattered.

And as I settled into my evening routine, I felt grateful for the little things that made me who I was. The way my hair fell in soft curls around my face, the way my favorite dress made me feel like a princess, the way my laughter filled the room. These were the things that truly made me happy, and I knew that no matter what the world threw my way, I could always hold onto them. 

Because at the end of the day, being a woman was about so much more than societal expectations – it was about being true to myself, and embracing all the little things that made me who I was.