What happens when one day you find that your old comfy shoes don’t fit? Throw them out? Donate them to charity? Pass them to a friend?
Thinking about shoes makes me really excited, I love shoes … but what if you loved a pair of shoes, you had worn them in all of the major moments of your life, good and bad, stylish and not. You wore those shoes while running, and also when you snuggled down to read a good book. Would those shoes be so easily dismissed and handed over to somebody else?
Some of you might say yes, “If your shoes don’t fit, get rid of them,” others of you, myself included, think, “They have so many memories, I must keep them. ” O’how I love good shoes, even if they do NOT fit, I want to keep them, just in case I might need them to wear on another day. The could be just the right touch for a fancy outfit.
Today at work I had a day…well, I have had a week, which means in French terms, it has been a little tough. I don’t really use the term “bad day/s,” because I don’t want to invite negativity, but some people might label it so. Over the past few days I have been contemplating my work, and if I am making a positive impact on a community, students and staff…and some days, I just don’t know how to answer myself. Yes, of course I am making a difference, right? Smile, I tell myself, you will feel better, and I do, but the feeling only lasts a short time. It doesn’t always feel great. The effort that I have been putting forth lately has taken a toll on my energy and positivity. I have been working so hard, and right now, I feel not unappreciated, but rather ineffective.
I have carried with me fears of inadequacy, imperfection, unsatisfactory. When I get a little low, those fears leak out and try to take root in my mind. I don’t know why I carry the negatives, but I do. I don’t know why I remember who planted them, but I do. I look back to past experiences, and I visit the negativity that prohibits my optimism.
Today I really realized, that the past events are just that, in the past, and I outgrew those past experiences and have moved on. I can think that way all I would like, but my brain has not moved on, those bad feelings still exist. That’s when I started thinking about my shoes. If I had a pair of ill-fitting shoes, I would get rid of them. If the shoes didn’t fit, I would throw them out, donate them, give them away.
I was thinking, “What happens when you outgrow a pair of shoes?” You get new ones. My new shoes will be fancy. My new shoes will be soft and shiny. My new shoes will lift me up and I will feel taller and stronger than I was before. I won’t care when people talk about my shoes, because they might, and that’s okay too. Parents of young children had it right all along, when you buy your kid new pairs of sneakers each year, they offer a new start to the kid, and they are pretty and they smell nice.
Growth is good and also inevitable, even if you don’t want it. I outgrew my shoes.
If something doesn’t feel right and it’s too tight, don’t wear it just because you have worn it in the past, that’s not you anymore.
Don’t get me wrong, I am still exhausted, confused, and a bit cross, it’s just that today I realized why I have been self doubting, and I can change those shoes.
* Featured image at top of page courtesy siewlian