When I was a little girl, I loved my shiny, black patent leather shoes….
I called them my “buckle shoes,” and looked forward to any occasion fancy enough to wear them. I don’t remember having princess dresses like the ones my best friend, Tara Morgani, wore to our grade school class photos. Most of the dresses I had were of the seventies plaid era… either that or they were hand sewn by my mother so that they had that fairly obvious hippy flare. But as long as I had my buckle shoes, I could’ve cared less…..
Perhaps it was partly because I was able to get them on all by myself… as buckles were far less tricky than shoelaces.
But I think even moreso, it must have had something to do with the way the sound they made on the linoleum floor. I was a pretty shy kid, but when I wore my buckle shoes, I remember my courage bubbling. Not only did I pretend to be as good a tap dancer as Shirley Temple, but I could no longer disappear in the shadows… my shoes announced my arrival, so that everyone always knew when I was coming.
That being said, I showed up more fully. I felt a bit ornery and sassy, and probably got myself sent to my room more often. Those noisy shoes represented the wild in me, and I liked it.
I remember when my grandmother died, my brother and I inherited a fairly large red sack full of her clothes for playing dress-up… and I wore her silver sparkly slippers and ostrich skin high-heel pumps whenever I had the chance. They made the same clickety clack that my buckle shoes did, with the added scuffing sound from dragging along shoes that are obviously way too big.
To me, it was like music… oh, how grown up and sophisticated and powerful I felt, immersed in my own rhythm, even on the many occasions I awkwardly tripped over my own feet and skinned my knee, with several scars to prove it.
Here I am in my forties… and for a little while now, I’ve been feeling rather, well, nerdy… a little dull and old-fogey-like. Not too long ago, I was told I needed glasses and for several years now, I’ve had enough foot problems to warrant wearing only the most comfiest (and ugliest) of shoes. And let’s face it… my hair’s getting a little grayer, my chest a lot droopier… why not just toss on sweats, a tshirt, and some crocks and call it a day?
But there’s something that happens when we start to care about how we choose to express ourselves from the inside out and claim our spot in this slice of time and space we call life… there’s something that happens when we start paying attention to what we really like and give it gravity… there’s something that happens when we honor our bodies in ways that empower us or make us feel ever-so-slightly giddy.
I’m not talking about beautifying or succumbing to unrealistic and somewhat crazy cultural “norms.” I’m not talking about radical diets or boob jobs so that we are deemed more attractive or so that we fit in.
No, what I’m talking about are the simple things that dare us to be more ourselves and to walk our paths like we mean it. Like buckle shoes. Like shiny purple toe nail polish. Like paint splattered overalls or a thoughtfully placed tattoo. Like long flowy skirts or bright red lipstick.
Like the cowgirl boots that my family got me for Mother’s Day. Check ‘em out!
They say, this is who I am… take it or leave it.
I no longer choose to hide. Instead, I’ll throw some intention into my every day and walk powerfully forward, with a slight swing in my step…. I’ll dare to make a little noise as I shuffle across the linoleum floor…
Sure, I’ll keep my sweats around for sheer comfort on rainy, tea-drinking days…. but c’mon, this soul is made for walkin.’