She stared in the mirror. The reflection was foreign to her, partly due to her thinning edges, errant chin hairs, and extra pounds that decided to join her midsection and not her hips. “I’m tryna be thick like Megan!” she said as she grabbed her belly.  “What is this?” She allowed her body to fall back onto itself and continued to critique her appearance. If she could just do Keto for a solid two months, or maybe even go to the gym regularly, she’d feel better about herself. But there wasn’t much time to continue to pick out her flaws.

A month before, she decided it was time to start dating again. Two years had already passed since she ended an engagement with a man who demanded more than she was willing to give and gave her exponentially less. She decided to stop defining herself by her attachment and connection to a partner and set on a journey of self-discovery. However, after rediscovering herself, she embraced the idea of wanting to again explore partnership and decided to join a dating app. She didn’t think she’d meet anyone new originally, since her activities lately included work, sorority events, and church. Swiping hadn’t proved to be too exhausting, but she struggled to put full-body pictures on her dating profiles for fear of rejection. To her surprise, she matched with several people and chatted with three. One in particular stood out, and after having a 4-hour phone conversation, they decided to plan a date.

She again looked in the mirror and attempted to gather herself. “Ok, girl. Get yourself together. It’s just drinks. You are interesting and charming and have a nice rack. Bish, you got this.” But she needed a bit more encouragement to get ready for this first date. Music was always something that motivated her so she decided to throw on a playlist in hopes it would provide some encouragement. The first song to come on was “QueenS”, by the now disbanded duo, THEESatisfaction. As soon as the beat dropped, her hips began to sway and she closed her eyes and danced for a bit. She started snapping and singing, pretty much preaching to herself the words of the chorus, “Whatever you do, don’t funk with my groove!” The next song was” So Beautiful” by Musiq Soulchild, and by the time “Big Ole Freak” came on, her makeup was finished, hair was done, and she was twerking in the mirror, admiring the way her dress cupped her booty. She thought, “I don’t have Houston knees, but I can throw this in a nice a circle.”

“Stay Fly” by Three 6 Mafia blared through the speakers and she was ready to go. She checked the time and her lipstick and exited her apartment with a smile on her face. As she walked to her car, she again saw her reflection, but this time, full-bodied. “Stay Fly” was still in her mind and she realized she needed to thank her body. It carried her through a break up, rediscovery of herself, and will continue to carry her through new adventures. She stared for a moment, but instead of identifying flaws, she expressed gratitude. And she reminded herself that she was still fine.