It’s new to me. The flesh that occupies what was once a bony physique. To the naked eye, it appears in all the right places; fuller C-cup bust, widened hips, a derriere that cuffs under to meet the tops of my thighs. My walk—two parts strut, one part bounce—is accompanied by light jiggling, evoking hungry glares where there was once passive appreciation.

My long, lean build remains long and lean. Stripping down tells a slightly different story. There’s a light layer of flesh around my midsection. Small folds on my once-smooth back. “It’s the cost of a curvier frame,” I’m told. This doesn’t stop me from frowning when I stare too hard in the mirror.

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“Does the person you like, like you back?”

I could have ignored the question as it scrolled down my Twitter feed. I’m usually annoyed when Twitter asks random probing questions, but I felt compelled to answer: “Nope.” My finger hovered over the “Send” button. Would admitting I was on the undesirable end of a crush ruin my carefree single girl image? Would a suitor (former or current) read the tweet as a confession of woeful pining? Was this fact of my life any of Twitter’s business?

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The events I’m about to describe deserve examination, because I don’t want you to think they happened with ease. Even as my friends assured me that I had not, in fact, flung my life into chaos triggered by immaturity and delusion, I fought my fear every step of the way. This isn’t a neat “Ask the Universe and you shall receive” tale. This is a story of making decisions that scared the shit out of me, that could have ended horribly, but somehow wound up in my favor.

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