Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Girlie vs. Grungy

Girlie vs. Grungy is something I have struggled with my whole life. (What a hard life eh?) The struggle comes from who I am verses how I was raised. Also, I should note that by 'Grungy' I mean tomboy, rough and tumble, not crusty gross.

Being raised as a missionary kid in the jungles of Papua New Guinea is pretty much the prerequisite for being a tomboy. Let me tell you, a girlie-girl could not handle that kind of upbringing! I was also raised in a family of 3 men (my dad and two brothers) and a tomboy mother. We got down with the grunge on a daily basis and pink was not in our vocabulary or color scheme.

As a child of the jungle I grew up with pocket knives and packs of matches. These were my toys...along with one doll that a grandmother had made me. We made slingshots and bows and arrows. I could build a fire by the age of 8 along with a jungle shelter made of sticks and leaves to protect myself from afternoon torrential downpours.

It was a fantastic childhood. I did not want for anything...except a barbie. Despite the fun that I had growing up in the jungle with pocket knives and matches, occasionally I felt like I was missing something. I desperately wanted a barbie, and colorful skirts made me happier than anything. Girlie things just were not a part of my life though, so I never realized that I may be a girlie-girl at heart.

My girlie-girl realization did not come to me until college. Yes, it took me that long to figure it out! Living in a college dorm was a girlie-girl dream come true. There were clothes of every variety, shoes, makeup, blow driers and curling irons, and girls who actually knew how to use it all. College was more than just an academic education for me, it was a girl education.

I had wonderful roomates who took me under their wings and taught me everything 'girl' there is to know. I finally let myself lose a bit of the grunge and enjoy the girl part of life. It was divine! Since college though, it has all been on me to maintain it. No more personal girl-trainers for me. It is up to me to maintain the girl, or let the grunge take over.

Then came marriage. I married a wonderful outdoorsy guy. He brings out the best of the grunge in me and sometimes it threatens to take over. Then I get a girlie urge and realize that the girlie side has always been there. So I am a person with two opposite traits, girlie vs. grungy. It is a constant struggle for me to to balance the two while never letting one take over. I love my grungy live it up, camp it out, dirt under my nails side, but I also enjoy the clean girl in a pink dress with painted nails and brushed hair side. I guess it is all about moderation and continuing to learn who I am.

What about you? Do you have any opposite traits that you struggle with?

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