Measuring Tape

  • Reading time:5 min(s) read

This is a lot of words about something stupid. But I’m going through a thing, okay.

The thing about measuring for a bra is, it forced me to recognize what was going on in this empirical way. I think what still stuns me is how they feel like they leapt at me out of nowhere. I was vaguely aware of their development, then all at once I had to address it. While I was otherwise preoccupied, these two separate mounds of flesh slowly began to aggregate. And, you know. When it’s not supported, stuff’s gonna spread out. Shape isn’t gonna be as obvious.

So they progress to the point that one finally turns their attention to these deposits and goes, huh, guess they’re growing a bit; should look into this. And by then… those modest rolling bumps, they consist of so much material. And if you just gather it up, give it a little support? The slightest pressure and suddenly, wait, these are actual breasts. When did that happen? What? Like, just lightly cup your hands underneath and hang on, there’s a shape here. Cleavage appears.

What I’m saying is that physics play into my obliviousness, then my sudden realization. This tissue is malleable, right. It deforms like a Japanese pudding with any pressure, including and especially gravity. (Which is in part why one wears a bra, yes.) And the reason I’m dwelling on this again is that I checked and despite the destruction of our postal service my first bra still seems set for delivery in three days. And, that’s gonna change things. It’s gonna be this leap where suddenly these untamed lumps are collected and contained, and… there’s a lot there.

In just a few days, I’m… my whole profile is going to change. The way I carry weight is going to shift. There’s going to be visible cleavage. This is becoming real, you know.

And it’s just.

Again it’s not even about the breasts, right. Not in and of themselves. The significance here is more symbolic. It’s kind of a landmark in reclaiming myself, healing my damage. Becoming myself, at last. It’s this objective metric, helping me to see the change in me in much the way the measuring tape was an objective metric allowing me to clearly see them.

I am so bad with measurements without an outside guide. I am so bad with intuition and emotion and vague mushy notions about things. Like how despite the blinking neon lights it took someone dragging me aside and pointing to them for me to see my queerness. I just shrug and accept and don’t really know how to quantify the qualia that make up my world. I appreciate every bit of proof I am who I am. The breasts to my sense of self, the measuring tape to the breasts—it’s all measurement of a measurement of a measurement; this existential train dragging me to the acceptance of my own fucking reality.

More and more, the reality keeps crashing in—showing me that I’m right. That I am me, despite everything. Despite all the denial and harm.

At the end of it, it’s just boobs. Like half the people on the planet. Big deal, right. But I’m going through puberty here. If I’m a little juvenile, I think it’s warranted. There’s a lot wrapped up in this. More than I realized until it was impossible to ignore.

I’m sitting here, feeling overcome at just the thought of claiming that piece of ownership over myself. Putting on that bra, shaping my chest, understanding that this is the new normal, we’re really doing this, and a hearty fuck you to everyone who tried to stop me for 30 years. Who accused me of being myself, like it was the most reprehensible thing.

It’s a point of reference.

I’m making progress. Measurable, objective, real, meaningful, visible progress.

I’m so swimmy, all the time. Flailing in the void. But it’s working. I was always right, even when I didn’t know what I was right about.

I’m going to be okay, maybe. I’ve got this. I’m fixing things. It’s not too late.

Things are finally going right.

It just so happens that this landmark is goofy and comical and… sort of neat, in a visceral way. Which in itself complicates an already complicated set of emotions wrapped up in this. I feel so strange for feeling the way I do about something so base and silly.

This all crept up on me. I had no clue what value or significance it might have. I just wrote it off, until there it was. It wasn’t on my agenda at all. But apparently it’s what I needed anyway.

I’m sitting here, crying—but from happiness. Which is itself unfamiliar. Yes, crying from happiness is unfamiliar. But also, just… happiness? That has to be what this is.

I’m starting to realize I may have never felt actual happiness. That has to be that I’m feeling, and this is so novel.

Again, there’s just… a lot going on.