My closest sibling in age is my older brother. We are five years apart. This might explain why it was my lifelong mission to be one of the guys. I preferred shorts and trousers to skirts and dresses. I resented everyone who ever told me to 'sit like a girl'. Culturally, I realized pretty early on that I had gotten the short end of the household responsibility stick - something I am actively working to reject in my daily life even now.
Through most of my life I had a hard time forming and maintaining friendships with other girls. Most of the ones I met just weren't interested in the same things I was - I don't enjoy shopping, I am not obsessed with shoes or make-up, I have done very little clubbing. I always did the bare minimum to look presentable on special occasions. I am a self confessed bookworm and introvert. I would rather sit and talk in a pub than attempt to dance a night away. I don't own a single pair of stilletos and I don't see that changing anytime in the future.
I have come to a point in my life where I genuinely treasure the relationships I do have with women. I am fortunate to have an older sister. Our age gap means we didn't spend very much time together as children, but now, as adults, time has narrowed that distance and that bond is priceless. Also, I finally have friends who share my deep disregard for all the strange conventions on what it means to be a woman.
In a different time, that disregard for societal norms would have been perceived as heretical. Witchcraft. In this piece I honor all the women who were labelled as wrong for living as their truest selves and all the amazing women in my life who have shown me how to walk in my truth.