“To Conform Correctly To The Shape Or Size Of”

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.

xxMai

Teeth

I had a dream last night that all of my teeth were falling out. Enter this into Google, and you’ll receive over 18,100,000 results. I think I’ve interpreted it as a control issue. With myself, with my life, my loved ones. I’ve also interpreted it as a fear of making a decision, fear of letting life pass me by, fear of big change, losing someone close to you, and just an overall cry for help. All of my teeth are falling out and I know not one dentist. I know teachers, and nurses, chefs, and makeup artists. But no dentists.

My teeth were shining white when he came home. I smiled more, I showed them off. For 10 days the stories that escaped my teeth were those of hope, and future happiness. When he said he would be back in a few weeks, my teeth bit into an idea that they had been carefully fed for months prior: an everlasting love that awaited me at the end of all of this. All I had to do was sit still, and keep smiling.

He left again, and my teeth would grind against each other at night, when I didn’t know where he was. One text a day kept the conversation limited, and my teeth stayed hidden behind the comfort of my pursed lips. But then something changed, as it notoriously does. Something took the ground beneath me, and left me open, and again, vulnerable. A text. A single text that transforms everything. The text read:

“I’ve been extended, I’m going to have to be here for longer than we anticipated.”

Almost healed, but again, a wound resurfaced. My teeth felt sensitive, and cold. My mind played ping-pong with leaving and staying. If I stay, I will never know the next move in this game, I will always surrender. If I leave, this was all for nothing, and I lost him. In the end I brush and I brush every single tooth until I’m choking on toothpaste, and a decision begs to be made.

I need help. I need you. I need a dentist. But I know no dentists.

And until then, I have nothing but thoughts, and words tied between my tongue.

xxMai