Is having your ideal body really the recipe to happiness?
I was awkwardly bending over, pulling champagne coloured stockings up over my ankles, when I saw the time. LATE! I was late. Conclusively, hopelessly, white-rabbit-in-Alice-in-Wonderland, late. Shimmy, shimmy, hop, tug – it was up to my thighs – when with a dreadful RIIIIIIIIIP I felt the stockings tear under my unusually long, unusually elegant, nails.
Sheer panic rose as I ran to get the back-up pair I accidentally bought in the wrong size. A more gentle shimmy-hop-pulling exercise until I yanked them over my butt … only to feel them irrevocably rip. A gentle breeze wafted over my bum cheek as I decided that a combination of gravity and sheer force of will would keep these goddamn stockings on until I came home.
I minced to the car and sat down slooowly. A small frisson jolted through my chest, like static against a doorknob, as I felt a gentle popping across my derriere, like fizz in a soft drink – I knew it was my stockings.
It’s moments like this when I wish I was more like Caitlyn Jenner. I can only imagine, at last, actually being happy in my body. Because one thing that woman has – metaphorically – is balls. It takes immense courage to reach out and grab your heart’s desires – because what if that doesn’t make you happy? What if the problem isn’t your tummy, or your butt, or your thighs, but rather you?
I wish I worked as hard at my transformation as she did at hers. I wish I was brave enough to grab it with both hands. Would I even know how to love my body when the opportunity came? Or would it knock fruitlessly at the door while I wondered what the noise was?
These thoughts chased themselves while I felt like I was sitting in a (surprisingly pleasant) champagne bath as the stockings gently crackled further open.
At work, I tucked all these thoughts neatly away (next to ‘Long Division’ and ‘I Should Really File for Tax Now, It’s Been Like What, A Few Months Already?’), smoothed my dress, and got ready to tackle the day.
I was surprised to hear a litany of compliments:
‘You look great Sam!’
‘Wow looking sexy today!’
‘I love that dress – where’s it from?’
At first I was surprised, then pleased. I didn’t see a pretty girl in the mirror this morning. I saw someone frumpy, struggling to put on stockings, many kilograms and a million light years away from her Photoshop perfect body.
But that’s not what my colleagues saw.
Maybe the key to happiness is Caitlyn Jenner’s bravery – yes – but also letting go, and allowing yourself be happy anyway. And learning to walk proud – no matter how ripped your stockings are.