I Think I Can, I Think I Can

“I can do this…”

It was going to be a daunting task, my Kilimanjaro of the morning, but I was determined to make it work.  I received the email the night before from the teachers union announcing that we were to wear purple the next day in order to show our support to our care-taking staff on the brink of a strike.  Of course I own a purple dress, so I went to bed that night feeling two steps ahead.

But the next morning my confidence took a hit as I looked at the zipper-less dress wondering how I was going to wiggle my way into it. I yanked and pulled the fabric in opposite directions trying to encourage it to be two sizes larger than it was before considering stuffing myself into it. Then, taking a deep breath and sucking in all I could, I put the dress over my head and began to contort my body in unhuman ways in order to shimmy my shoulders and upper body into the purple sausage casing. 

I felt a weird sense of victory as my arms popped into place, but before I could get cocky my mirror asked me if maybe, just maybe I would like to wear it right-side forward.  Argh. Although the reflection was deflating, with superhero determination I manoeuvred my arms out once again, twisting and agitating my body like a washing machine, and voila!

Crap, still backwards.

With beads of sweat forming on my brow and determination fuelling me, I took another deep suck-it-all-in breath for one final dance with her in an attempt to get her facing v-neck forward. Feeling like the little engine that could, I repeated “I think I can, I think I can” over and over in my mind while I clocked myself in the head with my flailing arms repeatedly and my hips trying to be helpful by wiggling in every direction. Then, feeling triumphant for finally making it past the proper direction hurdle, I found myself up against the next great challenge… getting it over my hips and thighs.  The dress made an audible groan as I forced the unforgiving fabric to flex over my curves, while crossing my knees to make the illusion of one thigh instead of two and squeezing my butt cheeks together as best I could.

I stood looking in the mirror, and instead of feeling a grand sense of accomplishment, the dress began to laugh over the possibility of me wearing her out in public while betting me how long it would take for one of the seams to rip open in defeat.

Honestly, getting it on was such a chore, and the thought of attempting to Cirque Du Soleil my  way out of it again was so daunting that for a split second I searched for for a justification to support me leaving my house looking like a kielbasa ready to be sliced up for Sunday dinner. 

Although I knew it would be a mammoth task, she had to come off.  With all of my energy, bending in ways that were anything but attractive, grunting and making sounds only dogs could hear, I was able to free myself from the captivity of the dress making it a goal to be able to fit into the next time it was requested I wear purple.

With my body and dress equally relieved to be free, all I could hear was the question in my head Oprah admittedly asks herself often, “how am I making things more difficult than they need to be?”

How many times have I tried to force myself into situations I had no right to be in, or cram my very square tushie into a round hole?  I always know when I’m frustrated with a situation it’s because I’m trying to control something I never had the business of controlling in the first place. Sausaging myself into this dress was a reminder that when I feel like I have to force something, is usually when I need to let go the most.

Returning the dress to its home in my closet I grabbed a purple shirt I bought this past summer that not only fit, but was flattering to wear in order to cheer on our care-takers. It may not have been the fancy dress, but I left my house glad to be supporting people who mean a great deal to me and still being able to breath at the same time.  No forcing necessary.