Exposed

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There I stood, in the middle of Times Square, completely exposed.

The backpack slung over my shoulder was the only coverage I had. Swinging the bag across the front of my body, I tried to figure out which was the better side to cover.

The phone in my hand rang. On the other end of the line was an editor that I had submitted pieces to in the past. Tucking myself into the corner of a building, she said, “The only way you will truly become the writer you want to be is to expose yourself to the world.”

The line went dead.

Looking across the intersection, I saw a clothing store. Dashing across the street, the people walking next to me seemed oblivious of my predicament. How could that be? They must feel sorry for me. I hung my head, avoiding eye contact at all costs.

“The only way you will truly become the writer you want to be is to expose yourself to the world.” I couldn’t get those words out of my head as I ran toward the door. I tried to drape my bag across the front of my body while using my arms to hide everything else. Looking down, my breasts were still exposed.

Entering the store, I was surrounded by a multitude of color. Dresses in every style imaginable hung within my reach. Finally, I could cover myself up again. Unfortunately, there were not many options in my size. All except one dress. A beautiful long sleeved, color-block, tunic dress caught my eye. I held it up to my body and turned toward the register. It was a perfect fit. Then, the indecision set in.

Did I really want this dress?

I carefully placed the dress down and walked away to search the store for something better. I am always second guessing myself.

Am I looking for a better dress or am I tirelessly trying to craft my words as to not reveal too much, always afraid of exposing too much of myself in words.

“The only way you will truly become the writer you want to be is to expose yourself to the world.”

Nothing else in the store fit the way that first dress did. As I walked toward the dress, there was another woman holding it up to her body. Smiling, she approached the register.

Through my indecision, I had lost the dress. What other opportunities have I lost?

Not about to let this one loss get me down, I went from store to store searching for something to wear. Standing a little straighter, with my head held high, I swung the backpack around over my shoulders so it rested on my back. My bag somehow seemed larger, as I positioned it over my shoulders.

Reaching in, I pulled out the dress.

It was mine all this time.

 

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