When I was in about 5th grade my mom got me an American Girls book about puberty and the transition from girlhood to womanhood. It told me all about shaving, choosing fingernail polish, and eating well. And on one special page it told me about my period and how to put a tampon in. Me and my girlfriends each had our own copies and we referenced it like the Bible. I was one of the last of my friends to get my period and I remember wanting one so badly, complaining to my mother about my feeling left out.
At twenty years old, I have by no means conquered all of my personal anxieties or insecurities about sex and sexuality. But after spending years trying to deny it, I can say that I have finally come to terms with the fact that I am a sexual being.
For most of my life, I have conceptualized my sexuality as separate from the rest of my body, intellect, and soul. This schism between my sexuality and the idea I had of my ‘Self’ cut me deeply during some of what could have been the best years of my life.