I remember the day so well. I guess you could say I was window shopping, and although intention was clear I would probably buy something, I knew deep down I really didn’t have the money to do so. But just as I was about to leave the store, I saw it. The perfect dress. Exactly what I was looking for. In fact, this dress fit my standards so well, so fast, it was hard to remember a time when I didn’t have it. I wore it everyday. It fit my body with every curve, every dimple, every muscle. I felt empowered. This dress was becoming a part of my identity. It slowly defined who I was. Now of course, there were times I had to hang it up, (I’m thinking of one day in particular). I slipped the dress off of my body and put it back in my closet, only for a moment, a brief second I hadn’t spent with it’s fabric wrapped around my waist. I soon returned to the closet to retrieve this part of me, and in my despair, it was gone. My dress was not in my closet. My dress was not on my floor, and my dress was not in my bathroom.
I’m nothing without this dress, I thought.
I’m no one, when I’m not wearing this dress.
Who am I anymore?
I spent the next few weeks searching for it. Knowing it couldn’t be far, and I would find it again soon, I had hope, I did.
I promise I did.
I wasn’t going to give up on it. But life throws things at you everyday. Shoes, bags, jewelry. I had no control over anything. And every day it got easier to be apart from the outfit. My routine changed and I was wearing new things. They weren’t the same as my dress had been, but I was soon forgetting the feeling it gave me. Let me cut to the point. I was sorting out my bedroom on an average day. Shuffling through average garments, and average old things. Suddenly, I notice something that catches my eye. Can you guess what it was? Yeah, it was my dress. I grabbed it and stared at it in disbelief. I couldn’t believe it was in front of me again. It was the strangest feeling. But it wasn’t happiness. I didn’t feel the relief I imagined I was going to. My god, I was disappointed. I had waited and waited to wear this dress again, and when presented with it, I didn’t even want to. I held the dress in all its glory up next to me. It looked a bit small. I slipped it over my head and it was stuck on my shoulders. I pulled it hard and I could hear it start to rip at the seams.
Why is this dress so small? It’s only been 4 months. I haven’t grown.
And maybe I hadn’t. Maybe the reality is I made myself small to fit in this dress. The dress was never my size. It never fit me, but I always forced it on. Memories come flooding back to me. The crying, the angst, the stress of fitting this dress over my shoulders to fit me the way it always had. The way I thought it did on it’s own.
Or maybe I’ve grown. And to some extent I know I have. So why am I still trying to make this dress fit? I’m squeezing, crying, holding my breath. But it won’t change. This dress will always be this way. But it’s time to fold it up, and put it back in the box it came in.
Maybe one day I’ll come to love you again. Maybe one day you’ll fit. But there’s no use in making myself smaller, today. No use in trying to fit you, when I’ve outgrown every inch of your fabric.