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  • Writer's pictureLynn McCain

The Dress That Didn't Fit

Hey Y'all! It's been a long time. Like, a really long time. Life, am I right?

People are always saying growth is such a beautiful thing. Well, have you ever seen a newly forming fetus? Alien vibes all the way. Good things grow in dark places because if people actually saw the process, they wouldn't even try. It's hard. It's ugly. Only the strong survive. Like a seed hiding under the soil preparing to split the ground wide open with its beautiful self, I needed to be cocooned from reality. I stepped away. I treaded water. I choked. I sank. I rose. Or shall I say, I am rising? Can one ever truly say, "I have arrived?" If you are in that place, I feel sorry for you. What a limited life. I plan to continue to grow and expand until the day I make it out of this hell hole. Speaking of "expanding", this is where my story begins.

Picture this, my mom in Hawaii. A beautiful 38 year old preparing for a big move. Her life on the brink of yet another huge change. Leaving behind her home in Arizona to move back to small town Tennessee. A husband, two kids, and a few pups expecting her to keep it all together. The master of her universe in a life she didn't choose. But for one moment, brief as it was, she soaked up the beauty of the Island before her. Yet no island could compare to that smile, those eyes, her in that dress...flawless without even trying. Beautiful before filters were even a thought in anyone's mind.

Fast forward thirty plus years. Me...#Hawaii...the same dress. Sounds perfect right? It fit me two years ago at thirty-eight when I planned out the trip. I wanted to be in Hawaii reliving her moment and making it my own. But...Covid happened. That and the not so slow demise of my entire life. Two years ago I was planted deep underground not of my own accord. Suffocating by the weight of the world. Choking from the pressure. Sinking into the abyss of depression. Deeper and deeper I sunk until the light I tried so hard to portray eventually went out. Too dark to see, I desperately grasped for whoever and whatever I could to keep afloat. In my hysteria, I sunk the whole ship. The solid ground I once trusted, now only a memory. My marriage, my children, my life all clinging to a piece of the wreckage to survive. None of it did. I drowned everyone.

A seed won't turn into what it was created to be unless it first dries out. To the outsider, this seed appears to be truly dead. Even to ourselves sometimes, when we've fallen to the ground we feel that nothing will ever be the same again. We lie there mourning our losses. Not knowing that we are only in waiting. Waiting for that one thing, that perfect moment to finally let out roots dig into the earth. You see, before we fell we depended on the roots of the tree to nourish us. But some of us our too big for that. Inside everyone has the ability to grow roots, but only a few out of the millions of seeds that fall to the ground actually become trees.

I finally took the trip to Hawaii. I brought the dress. When I first tried it on..."tried" not being an understatement. I could hardly fit it over these thighs, this peach. Once snapping a few seams, I pulled for the zipper. I wanted to cry. It wouldn't budge. I was too big. At first I was disappointed. I criticized my body, the weight I had gained. But then I saw a picture of a tree in my mind. When it was small as a seed it only had potential, but when it became a tree, it was actually doing the thing it was created to do. My weight doesn't really matter. Is it really the end of the world that I couldn't fit into the same dress that I could before? No, for me its so much more than that. I can no longer fit into the life that I have outgrown.

I waited for years to be shaded by another. To be nourished, watered, protected. All the time I was making myself small, for I'm the shade. I am rooted, watered from my creator. It's my job to press toward the sun for my own growth and nourishment. I'm too big to be a seed. I am the tree.

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