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You know the one pair of jeans you have in the back of your closet, the ones you see in the corner of your eye every time you browse through it? They taunt you, “come on, try me — this time I’ll fit, I promise.”
Sometimes, you give in, and you already know as soon as they reach your calves they aren’t going to fit your body. Yet, you hold onto hope and you tug them until you give up, and you feel stupid for falling into their trap again. Other times you say no, and you angrily shove them to the back of the closet, as if putting them out of sight would make them stop taunting you.
You make a better choice, just for today.
Just for today, I will wear clothes that fit my body.
Just for today, I will honor myself and what I am committed to.
I’m packing them into a box. Gingerly folding, smoothing, re-folding. The memories flood my senses, the date with the tall, curly-haired boy, swaying my hips to salsa music on the beach, strutting down the campus walk, feeling invincible.
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I toss the box in the donation bin. It clangs onto the bottom.
I am saying goodbye to a good friend. A good friend who is not good for me.
Who am I without those skinny jeans? Who am I without “skinny?” Who am I?
I look up and I see a slender woman walking down the street, carrying a few Macy’s shopping bags, her blonde waves bouncing with each step. I look closer, scrutinizing her body. I squint my eyes, and l see my jeans on her body. The hole just above the knee, the white stitching on the front pockets.
I draw air quickly into my lungs. I grab my backpack and run after her, thump, thump, thump on the cracked sidewalk. Wait, stop, those are mine! She is a mirage, quickly disappearing into the fog. She’s there one moment, and the next, all I see are the tips of her golden hair whipping around the street corner.
I collapse cross-legged onto the sidewalk, out of breath. I look down at the untied shoelaces of my burgundy Converses. I tie them, stand up, dust off my hands, and walk down the street in the opposite direction, away from the fog.
I open the closet and I breathe a sigh of relief. I rummage through the back of the closet just to make sure. Yes, they are gone. The monster has been put to sleep.
I stand in front of my full-length mirror and the voice is silent. I turn my head side to side, examining my jawline, the freckles on my face.
I look down at the curves of my body. Shapes, they are just shapes.
I run my hand over my stomach and hips. I will never wear those jeans again.
Thank goodness, I will never be that person again. I needed her to evolve into me. I gaze into the eyes of the person in the mirror.
Who am I without skinny? I see courage. I see strength.
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