I haven't got just one: There are many and they are all such a wonderful and blessed part of my life. Some have been with me since not long after I learned to walk; some left and came back; some held me while I mourned a marriage that was destined for failure from the start; some stood by as I married the most magnificent man ever (next to my daddy, of course); some told me I was beautiful when I thought the exact opposite; and, some just walked in like they'd always been there and stayed.
We've fought and stopped speaking. We've cussed each other and thrown sharp objects and sharper words. We've missed important parts of each others' lives. We've sworn off each other like a crackhead swearing off the pipe. Then we realize that we are woven into each other. It is not a footprint, but tied into the very essence of my life.
I am inspired by the strength that women find when there is not nary a drop of hope in the well. I'm amazed by single mothers who do it all and then some. I'm amazed by the alcoholic women who promise not to drink just one more day and find the strength to keep it. I'm overwhelmed by those women who suffer at the hands of abusive partners and find the power to walk away. I'm astounded by those women who battle the depression and anxiety and other mental illnesses and fight every day as if life depended on it because often it does. Our gender is worthy.
What inspired me Sunday morning was thebloggess.com's traveling red dress. I wanted a red dress. I wanted something, anything, to make me feel like I mattered. Sometimes I'm not me; I'm somebody's mom or somebody's wife or somebody's teacher. I wanted to be me. Then I tried to think of what in the world that represented to me? A dress? A car? Jewelry? There was nothing that came to mind. I'm fortunate enough to have clothes in the closet and my taste is pretty crappy, so most of what I like is cheap.
What I really wanted was someone else to have that red dress, that moment of feeling beautiful. I love that swimmy feeling in my stomach when I see other people happy. Even better is when I can be a part of that.
I'm having a prom. The idea dawned on me and made perfect sense. I'm having a prom. A good old-fashioned prom with butter mints and crepe streamers and cheesy pictures. Some of my sisters are pitching in. You don't have to worry about a date because this is only for the girls. We're gonna dance and sing and pretend we aren't wounded. Then, when our feet are swollen, our lungs weak from song, and our souls replenished, we will donate our beautiful dresses to our local church to share them for upcoming proms. Girls who otherwise might not have a dress at all will go to prom with a special dress. One that has had life breathed into it by those of us more jaded than the new owners.
I'm afraid this will fail. I'm afraid people will say they will come and then not. I'm afraid people will come and hate it. I'm afraid the music will suck or they won't have fun. I'm afraid of so many things, but mostly I'm afraid of this not happening. My anxiety is gnawing at my belly, but I'm going to see it through. So help me, if I have to, I will dance in my fancy-schmancy dress all by my damn self and then I will fall breathless to the floor. I've survived a lot, and I deserve that dress and that dance and a beautiful teenage girl deserves it, too. So I'm gonna make it happen.
Go find your dress. It's on.