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#BN Epilogues: As Rouge Rose Turned 18…She Discovered Womanhood

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dreamstime_m_54873737It’s that time of the year when members of the BellaNaija community come together to bond over shared experiences in the last 12 months. As with the previous editions of this series, we put out a call for you to send us your stories. {Click here if you missed it}

We kicked off the 2016 Epilogues yesterday, with Mirabel’s story Today, Rose is sharing her experience. 

I’m blooming, yes I am. I’m becoming, yes I am. I’m blossoming, yes I am. I rise to the light that shines brightly on me. It lingers on me, and I awaken in it. I discover myself. I know myself, yes I do. With each petal that unfurls and breaks free, I become free to be myself, to show myself, to love myself. It’s magical. It’s intense. I am becoming a woman, yes I am.

The mystique of her smile, the strength of her steps, the essence of her soul- I am discovering what it means to be a woman, yes I am. As I unfold and unravel and untangle, I reveal my beauty to the world. I fall in love with that beauty. I peer into that beauty; I gaze dutifully, and I observe almost detached. I ask questions, I take down notes, I record. She’s my discovery, my lover, my friend, my sister, mine; she’s me. I sit her down, and we talk like we always do. I ask her questions, I probe her mind, I search her thoughts. Who are you? Who are you becoming? Why are you created by your God, my God! She stares back, childlike almost, adrift in the colorful imaginations of her being.

I continue. How can I stay true to myself when I don’t know what’s true about myself? Aren’t I just a product of the different ingredients of life I’ve been marinated in? Aren’t I a piece of this and that and here and there? Aren’t I like every other person or at least one other person in this world of 7 billion? What makes me different? Is that difference real or perceived? How do I know? How can I be unique? Someone, please tell me.

I watched the woman in your life, she answered. I watched her womanliness, her vulnerability, her hurt, her pain, her strength, her fight. I absorbed, and they intermingled within me. They chiseled my fears, my insecurities, my voice, and my femininity.

I look forward to being comfortable in your presence, I say. I pray to be wholly and to be completely in synergy with you. To share an unfeigned intimacy, a knowing, one that is securely rooted and grounded in the image of your identity. I hope to have eyes that deeply pierce within to uncover a sincere and genuine love.

She whispers back to me: lay down, give, dance, fall in love, laugh, close your eyes, imagine, chronicle your blessings, admire your lips, speak good with them, be bold, be courageous, learn, open yourself up to the world.
Soar like an Eagle. Roar like a Lion. Grace like a Gazelle.

I turn 19 soon, and I feel balanced. Excited and anxious, hopeful and fearful. At peace. Because I know that I’m a masterpiece of the beautiful One. I also know that there is no one I would rather strut this walk of life with than with you. Three words, eight letters. I love you.

-femme en Fleur


We’re extending the submission deadline for this year’s series because a lot of people said they didn’t see the initial call. So, please send your stories to features(at)bellanaija(dot)com, but don’t forget to mark the subject line appropriately – BN 2016 Epilogues.