Let’s be literal for a minute. I’m a tall girl, so I have fairly large feet. That wouldn’t necessarily be a problem, except the size of shoe they fit into just happens to be the precise size that is often ignored by shoe manufacturers. I’m not exaggerating here; in catalogs, you’ll often see, “Available in whole and half sizes 5-9, 10.” Five to nine COMMA ten. So 9.5 was always difficult to find. Plus, my feet are shaped weirdly so that almost every pair I put on causes blisters. Shoe shopping is often a nightmare for me, and I’ve always wished to be able to wear different shoes.
Now let’s be figurative. Ever since I was little, I can remember looking out the car window at people pulling out of their driveways, people pulling into their driveways, and people in the car next to mine, and wondering what they were doing. It had to be something really interesting, right? While I was on the way to church or swim lessons, or coming back from a dentist appointment, everyone else was on their way to something spectacular. Isn’t that just how it works? I’m not kidding when I say I actually thought that.
I still do, in a way. I can’t remember the last time when I thought, Wow, I’m really glad I’m who I am right now. Sure, there are times when I’m glad to be where I am (on vacation), or glad to be with the people I’m with (ones who love me), but happy to be who I am? Not so much. Not when all of the other people’s shoes seem like more fun to walk in.
Yesterday, as I was frantically cleaning my apartment to prepare it for strangers to view as their potential living quarters, I was thinking about how they’re so lucky to get to see the place all set up with furniture because when I viewed it, it was empty, which made it hard to imagine how to use the space. But I wasn’t wishing I could be in their shoes. I realized suddenly that my shoes, however strange and out of style and hole-filled and worn out they are, suit me just fine. These people looking at my home are further along in their apartment search than I am and are probably moving later than I am. They probably have full-time jobs, and they are probably pretty certain they’ll be living in New York City next month. Two months ago, I would have envied them. Yesterday? Not so much.
Because these shoes, the ones that do very little to protect my feet from the elements, and the same ones that don’t go with any outfit, and the very shoes that I used to wish I could get rid of–my shoes are just fine. I’m glad to have them, and I’m excited to see where they’re going to take my feet in the next few weeks. So you can keep yours. I no longer want them. Though if you happen to see a pair in size 9.5, feel free to send them my way.