I remember the first time I wore a bra. I came home from school in the fifth grade, and my mom handed me a white cloth to put on beneath my shirt. “You’re a big girl now,” she said, “You need to wear this.” From that moment on, my life was forever changed.
That same year, I was taught that the sun would someday die, and I, feeling the pressure of the contraption beneath my shirt, realized that my childhood, too, would eventually dissipate just like the sun.
The first bra paved way for a second, and then a third, and then, by the fourth bra I had advanced to the Lady Type, the ones that my mom wore.
With every new bra, I cast away the former. Somewhere in the dark abyss of my closet, there is a heap of abandoned bras, tiny, worn-out filaments that had once shone so brightly in their days of use, but had faded away into old, neglected remnants of days long gone. They sit against a corner of the universe and gather dust like dead stars— without life, without luster, without vigor.
With every new bra, I felt the unmerciful hand of change push me further down a path with which I had no return. The bras no longer had the simplicity of the first; they came equipped with more folds and stitches and frills and patterns that were designed to counteract the growing complexity of my responsibilities.
Sometimes, when I found myself too big for the current one, I was either unable to or unwilling to get another because of the implications behind the transition—if every new bra meant the death of another star, then the adult world was nothing to me but a lifetime of darkness. I tried so hard not to kill any more stars, but my resistance was not enough, and I found myself adding layer after layer to the ever-increasing pile of bras. With this mindset, I prepared myself for the end, for the moment in which my entire universe would be engulfed by the black hole forming in my closet.
But I was saved.
I learned that life does not occur linearly, but in cycles: New stars can arise from the ashes of former ones, and the darkness of death is replenished by the light of birth. Thus, what is created is only a reinterpretation of the past in a form that is fitted for the present. In wearing a new bra, I was not casting away my old self but reorienting myself to accommodate to changing times.
Change, as overwhelming as it feels, is only natural—the pile of bras will only get bigger. Though it is hard to accept the existence of the bra in my life, I realize that I cannot live without it, for, as we grow older, things tend to droop more easily, and there is nothing more reliable than a bra to give us the inner support necessary to have a firm hold on life.