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From girl to woman

Yesterday I was a girl; today I am a woman.  Hear me roar, Helen Reddy.

The first in a series of weekly posts about what it's like to be a woman exploring all New York City has to offer.

I saw it in writing. It was on a Facebook message and it hit me. The words said "WOMAN". My years of circumventing this term are gone. Somewhere between 25 and 45, it happened. Yesterday I was a girl; today I am a woman. Hear me roar, Helen Reddy.

What does this transition mean? I did some research and the most interesting explanation that I found was this: "A woman is the finished puzzle and a girl is just the pieces". Am I completely put together with no missing pieces, even in the complicated center? When I look back on my life, I see how far I have come. But as a late bloomer, I also know how far I have to go.

Moving to New York City was the biggest piece of my life puzzle. My dream to be a New Yorker was fulfilled in 2007. Talk about the power of positive thinking -- forty years to be exact. But now that I am here, the puzzle still isn’t finished.

My analytical self believes there is some unknown reason that I came to New York and it has yet to be unveiled. My husband had a simple response, “Maybe like many others, you came here just to be. For them, being is enough." He didn’t say what he was really thinking, "Because you have been beating me down for the last eight years of our lives talking about New York City non-stop!" OK, I have.

For others, being is all they may need. For me, it’s a step in the right direction. Is my puzzle complete? The few tiny pieces missing in the center are key. These are different from the "biggest" section, which was my move to Manhattan. Being in New York will surely fit the last of these into place. Then I can say goodbye to "girlhood" once and for all.

Look out New York, a woman is coming!