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By B.E.

I had a very close friend in town this past weekend and as I was walking her to Grand Central station to catch the bus to LGA, I told her the story of my prom dress. My senior year in high school I found the perfect dress. It was just what I had envisioned: simple, elegant, lavender with some beading, but it most certainly didn’t look like all of the other horrendous Jessica McClintock frocks my fellow senior girls would be rocking and regretting for years to come. I could not have designed a better dress myself if I had commissioned the work. So, I did what any red-blooded American girl would do when finding the perfect ensemble – I bought another dress. I picked-up a little spaghetti strapped black number that yes, was much more flattering on my then curvy girl figure, but I still think of the lavender gown that I fell in love with, and proceeded to walk away from.

This was not an isolated incident.

Throughout my 29+ years on this planet I have continually looked something great or at least good, square in the face, and then walked away, assuming something greater, or gooder as the case may be, was just around the corner.

I am not sure if this is the behavior of a woman, or an American, or if it is simply associated with youth, but as I grow older I think it might just be the behavior of an individual terribly afraid of settling down, making major life choices and of limiting options. Sadly, these limitations arise whether or not one decides to be on board.

I can blame this fear usually reserved for the gender made of frogs and snails and puppy dog tails on coming from a broken home or being raised in a consumer culture, but as most grown ups realize at some point, you cannot blame anyone but yourself. Accepting responsibility for your own actions comes with wisdom and experience, however, learning how to fix said issue is a whole other ball of wax.

With my lavender prom dress I learned to let go and accept that my prom photos will forever be in a black dress that, although lacking the same pizzazz, made my rack look amazing. With my first love, I learned to let go and accept that based on timing or childish indulgence, I chose not to go down that path and, therefore, will never be Mrs. First Love. These are just the facts.

The beauty of not only realizing this internally, but admitting it to the world at large is that I can change. I am relatively young and change is still a realistic possibility.  Speaking to my nearly 88 year-old grandfather yesterday my belief that we are a work in progress until the final breath was just further confirmed. Although my eggs are certainly not getting any fresher, my market value has yet to plummet. I can still decide to look something square in the face, make note of the drawbacks, focus on the positive and say, that’ll do pig, that’ll do.

Life is full of alterations and there is no such thing as the perfect fit.

B.E. is a photographer and aspiring freelance writer residing in New York City.

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