With time, not all relationships can last forever. Some will come into your life, destined to leave earlier than anticipated and others, longer than is required. Seems we have come to one of those paths – They met when he was only 18 years old, part of a Navy uniform and oh so young. Throughout the 20+ years, their relationship was built on reliability, with comfort as a strong foundation. Now we say our farewells as these well-built oxfords can no longer keep out the ice and snow, keeping the warmth they once offered.
Yeah, I get it – eulogies are not usually for shoes. As I was ready to part with them, I realized these shoes have been with me for a long time. They’ve seen so many job interviews, weddings and funerals, flights, conferences, and many more moments with my children. From Daddy/Daughter dances to baptisms, concerts and award ceremonies, this pair has been with me longer than almost every relationship or thing I’ve owned. But they finally died.
What really caught me off-guard in reminiscing about this tough pair of oxfords? That they’re still shoes. You see, I’ve been having a bit of a lull in my life for most of this year. I thought it was some sort of mid-life crisis starting, or maybe a bad case of self-identity issues.
With some help, I found my self-language has some problems. I appear to have imposter syndrome and I am still carrying baggage of my life around with me. These shoes have been with me through almost all of those memories. But they’re still just shoes.
“I’m horrible with names” is a channel on the TV of self-fulfilling prophecy. You say that out loud or just to yourself and you’re probably going to be bad with names. So I now say, “I have to work hard to remember names.” And this seems to push me ahead so that I will pay more attention. Little things like this can make a difference in the mental game.
This is just one instance of what has been floating around in my brain-pan because those inside voices are powerful and can bring me down at any momemt. In Jen Sincero’s You are a Badass, she states the following:
Most people are living in an illusion based on someone else’s beliefs
My life has been full of stories where I wasn’t good enough or didn’t do the right thing. Then that story became part of who I see myself as. And like many events in our lives, my “bad” memories were louder than my “good” ones. But they’re a pair of shoes.
Wow, this rabbit hole is just getting deeper, but stay with me Alice…
These shoes have stunk. Been covered in mud. Stepped on, shoved under, thrown in a corner, forgotten, and kicked across rooms. They have been beat up. This pair was never going to be the life of the party, never going to write a book, never going to become something else like a pair of high heels. They would never change.
They sound pitiful when you spell that all out. But they were reliable. They did the job they were best at and they did it well. They didn’t complain. They didn’t ask for more from me, just that when I wear them I wear them well.
And so my counselor might be proud of me – You see, these shoes have now become more to me in my life. Because they remind me that no matter what happens to you, keep focused on what you want to do and do that job. Don’t worry about the scuffs, or what kind of things you’ve stepped into in the past. Just worry about what you have in front of you.
They were great shoes, but they were shoes and they did their job.