‘You’re so much like a boy.’
This is what I’ve heard growing up from friends/relatives/teachers. And you know what, it always made me feel better. It was a ‘compliment’. My loud voice was said to be commanding, my outspoken nature reflected my courage. It meant I was bold and strong. Yes, I did take pride in that comment. 
But now that I think of it, it was so problematic. I never gave myself the opportunity to become vulnerable or to embrace my emotions. I shunned makeup, shunned soft-pitched voice, shunned emotions, shunned whatever was considered ‘girly’. It was constantly reaffirmed to me that I had to be loud, bold and courageous to be taken seriously. I couldn’t be vulnerable at any cost. I had to ‘be like a boy’ to be heard or seen.
But, you know what, I’ve started letting go of all those toxic and suffocating thoughts. 
I’m letting myself drown in the oceans of my emotions, to explore my being. No, I’m not ‘like’ a boy and I’m not ‘like’ a girl either. There’s no set of rules what makes a boy or a girl. I am whatever. What makes me is me. I am a girl and I am a complex hodgepodge of what-not.