It was Christmas 2015 when my relationship hit a wall. Things were messy and I needed space, we both did. My parents and sister were going to Australia for Christmas to see my family over there and originally I wasn’t going to go along, but at the last minute I changed my mind and booked myself a flight. Two days later I was flying alone to the other side of the world.
It was the bravest thing I have ever done. It was impulsive and I was absolutely terrified, but it was what I needed. I needed to take myself out of a bad situation. I needed a new environment, new people, a new perspective. On that trip, I proved to myself that I could do anything. If I can fly solo to the other side of the world with a smile on my face when inside I was breaking, what was stopping me from achieving anything other than my dreams?
When I was in Australia, I had the best time. I was on a completely different time zone so I could remove myself from the toxic situation I was in. I swam in the sea, enjoyed the sunshine, spent time with my family. I was happy. I was free.
One day we went shopping in Canberra. My brother was getting married on 2016 and we were looking for dresses for the wedding. Quite accidentally, I stumbled upon The Dress.
It was a strapless, sequin dream. It looked like something that should have been worn to the Oscars. I tried it on and I fell helplessly in love. My mum cried when she saw me in it and even my dad choked up. I felt incredible. My waist looked tiny, I looked taller, slimmer, better. I looked at myself in the mirror and wanted to be this girl staring back at me, the girl in The Dress.
The Dress was $800. It was a crazy amount of money. It was far too posh for a wedding, far too nice for any occasion I would be going to, but I couldn’t stand the thought of leaving that shop and that version of myself behind. When I saw myself in The Dress, I didn’t see a girl who was lost or struggling. When I saw myself in that dress I saw myself for the first time in a while.
I bought it.
I didn’t wear it for the wedding, I wore a still beautiful but much less attention grabbing little black dress. My relationship healed. I found happiness again, both in myself and my relationship. I graduated for a second time. My life moved on.
And The Dress? I wore it to a fancy dress costume a few weeks ago. It was the first time I’d ever actually worn it. I went as an Oscar winner, and I felt priceless.
To me, that dress is more than just a stunning piece of clothing. It’s more than a show stopper of an outfit. That dress healed me. It is the epitome of my strength, reminding me of the time I took myself across the world, the time I put myself first, the time I truly looked after myself. I look at that dress and I see freedom, confidence, happiness. I look at that dress and see a saviour, one worth every single penny.