Writers who express the theme of girlhood in their work usually explore the transitive aspect of being a girl child. For this post of FIXATIONS creative writing series, I have had the pleasure of interviewing Becky Muralles about the shift between girlhood and womanhood in her creative work.
Q: How writing helps you discover, in your own words, your own power and light?
A: When you write, sometimes you discover words that you were not able or not brave enough to say before. Acknowledging your own value can be difficult, especially if you grew up in a cultural environment that does not encourage celebrating one’s own achievements; writing can be easier than speaking when it comes to praising yourself.
Moreover, writing requires reflection and the more you reflect on yourself, the more you can be amazed by the great things you tend to overlook.
Q: In your poem “I’m a woman who…”, there is a subtle shift from girlhood to womanhood. What is the most important thing about becoming a woman for you?
A: It’s true! It felt just natural to shift from ‘girl’ to ‘woman’ in my poem, but obviously there is not an age or a specific moment one can pinpoint for becoming a woman. From my particular perspective, the shift came with responsibility. I felt that I was leaving girlhood and becoming a woman when I started taking full responsibility for my happiness, my identity, and my dreams regardless of other people’s opinions.
Q: What is some new thing about girlhood that you learned from CLMC?
A: Because we are such a diverse group, I have learned that girlhood can be lived and expressed in so many different ways. I learned that girlhood is not something that ‘must be’ but something that ‘is’; and that ‘is’ in many different ways. That diversity is what makes girlhood such a rich experience.
I’m a woman who…
I’m a girl who helped her male cousins carry twigs and heavy logs to build a shelter and play on grandma’s backyard
I’m the girl who welcomed the new boy who came to our school and was too shy to join the group
I’m the girl who told stories to her little brother and stayed up with him when he was scared at night
I’m the girl who —even being a teenager— helped her father navigate his own emotions because he had never learned how to deal with them
I’m the girl who helped put my brother in a good high school, because I wanted to see him shine and succeed
I’m the girl who helped my male classmates study, so we could all graduate together from uni
I’m the girl who lend her savings to a boyfriend so he could finance his start-up
I’m the woman who saved again, bought a car and learned how to drive even when my father kept telling me that driving was a thing “for men”
I’m the first woman to learn how to drive in my family, the first one to graduate from college
I’m the woman who decided to travel solo, even when I was scared, because I got tired of waiting for anybody to follow me on my adventure
I’m the woman who supported her husband when he lost his job and not only he needed financial support, but he needed hope when things seemed hopeless
I’m a woman who is brave and strong but is also gentle and caring
I’m a woman who comes from a place where everybody tells you that “only men can…” but who discovered that women also can
I’m a woman who has discovered her own power and her own light
I’m a woman who has always supported the important men in her life … so you cannot tell me that women depend on men
Girl Museum Inc