A journey into my womanhood, in four parts.

Part IV

By Charmaine Adetola Shaw

May 2023

Thumbnail illustration by Carole Maillard

Thumbnail illustration by Carole Maillard


“Bring (a fact, event, or situation) back into one’s mind; remember”

“ ‘You seem different’

‘I am’, she sighs with a coy smile


I have been tested, challenged, provoked

Broken and reborn

Emerging from a battlefield baring scars

My strength as undeniable as my feminine energy; full of beautiful contradictions


I am gentle yet resilient

Soft yet outspoken


It’s incredible how much one can grow in a number of days

Gone is that lost girl


And so, I will continue to grow, as certain as the sun will shine

Reaching towards that ethereal light, until I bloom – evolve into the best me I can be”

As I reminisce on my journey into womanhood I sit comfortably in the experience and in adoration of the person I once was, the woman I have grown into and the woman I am yet to become. Mistakes were made, tainted with difficult choices. But the necessity of them have raised me into the person I am now. I am proud to identify as the feminine complexity that is Woman and I am in awe of those that surround me.

I’ve heard the era of a woman’s “20’s” written as the “defining” era. If this is true, I sit comfortably in the reassurance of the lessons I have learnt and the foundations I have built that will now guide me towards my highest and truest self. My wish is that as I grow and age with grace that I live free of regrets and rather with the understanding that life is not easy, but that’s the point. We are meant to be broken and tested in order to reach our own enlightenment and vibrate higher. With each test overcome, we celebrate with our personal resilience, knowing as each test grows harder our soul grows stronger. Let your faith guide you. Whatever you believe, let it guide you. Surround yourself with light; in your support systems, in the inner-voice you talk to yourself with, in the spaces you occupy. Shield yourself in compassion, self-belief and positivity and then how can you ever fail?

Womanhood is a multifaceted journey with many obstacles for all, I hope my journey of self-discovery, acceptance and surrender to life leads you to become yourself apologetically and emit your beautiful femininity into the world. ‘The future is woman’ has always rang true, but moreover existence is women. Our very essence is indescribable, but we all know it well.

You can find more of Charmaine’s work here.