It’s frustrating trying to find something to wear when your entire wardrobe is spread across your floor. Moving over to the closet, I saw something blue, with a GAP tag hanging off of it. It was my blue dress. I describe it so simply because it is so simple. It is a royal blue, with a grey stripe at the bottom and near the neck-line. Picking it out of the pile of clothes, I put it on, and moved over to the mirror.
Every time I put that dress on I lose myself. It’s not anything special, or it doesn’t look that special. It provokes no long-felt nostalgia; I’ve only had it for a few months. But that simple, blue cotton dress was my disguise. That dress was a costume, not metaphorically, but it was literally a costume that I danced in, in front of at least 100 people.
I jumped onto, and flung myself off of a table wearing that dress! It was choreographed and my friends caught me, but still, the “me” that the rest of the world sees would never to that; she’s much too sensible. But that dress became a sort or armor. I felt invincible, even though I wasn’t.
That stage in Newtown High School scared me. It scared me more than the 800-person Rich-Forum Theater. But what scared the most was how vulnerable that dress and that dance made me feel. I know I said that the dress was a sort of metaphorical armor, but at first it didn’t feel that way. It felt like an embarrassing spotlight, highlighting my every mistake, movement, and thought.
Taking advantage of that vulnerability was probably the best thing I’ve ever done on stage. I embraced that fact that everyone was looking at me, and turned the dress into the disguise of a confident dancer. With time, the disguise turned into reality. That moment was when the soft cotton dress turned into my armor with which I could enter any battle against fear and anxiety. Later, my teacher smiled and hugged me, saying “You all looked like women up there. And you! You took over that stage Piquette!” I used to be afraid to stand alone on that stage, even with the auditorium completely empty. But that blue dress remains a representation of courage and the conquering of the fear that strangled me for so long.
Looking in the mirror, months after the fact, the dress still remains the same. It remains in the world as a reminder of my victory in the battle against myself. Changing back into my jeans and t-shirt I realized that the world wasn’t supposed to see my disguise now; they had to see me.
Back in my daydream, I remembered the name of the song that I danced to, wearing that dress. It was called “Bitter.” The feelings provoked by the song are exactly what the title suggests. Listening to the lyrics, I realized that I sheltered myself so completely from the risk of emotional anguish that I didn’t have any life experience with which I could draw inspiration. The “narrator” in the song had her heart broken by someone she loved.
That’s never happened to me, so shouldn’t I feel lucky? The strange thing is that I don’t. I wished I had felt heartbreak before, not just as a source of inspiration, but just as an experience. Have I experienced nothing? Am I just emotionally comatose? Or am I just to closed up to let anybody even relatively close to my heart?