I’ve been in a constant state of self-evaluation during the past few months. Who I am and what I want to do with my life. No big deal, just reviewing my ENTIRE EXISTANCE.
And, in the midst of this, I had these stories running in the background of my life which, in essence, reflected the bigger picture.
Story 1: Forgiveness
I visit my parents pretty frequently. For any of their shortcomings, they’ve outdone themselves with being super caring, super loving, and accepting (as much as they can) the reality of my departure from religion, heterosexuality, and gender norms.
My Dad picked me up a few weeks ago, and on the way home, we discussed a myriad of topics. At one point, Dad asked.
“So, what are you looking for in a potential partner?”
I thought it over, but immediately the first thing that came to mind was-
“The most important factor for me is trust. They have to stick with me, and I stick with them, and if no one else in the world stands with us, we will stand together. But the moment that partner cheats on me, it’s over.” Wham, bam done.
Dad seemed shocked. “But what about forgiveness? People aren’t perfect, they make mistakes. Shouldn’t you give them a second chance?”
“Sure they make mistakes, and yeah I’ll forgive them. But the moment they break my trust, they can’t get that back again.”
Long story short, I don’t think my Dad understood how I could be so harsh. People make mistakes, why not cut them some slack?
Because I’m worth more. And for my self-dignity and self-respect, I can’t see myself giving in and being made a fool again and again.
However, I acknowledge that this is in theory. Reality has a way of skewing a clear cut situation. And if that moment happens, I’ll have to make the best choice for me. I’m worthy of only the best.
I wouldn’t have thought I was worthy before and I’m glad for this change in my evaluation of my own self-worth.
Story 2: Shoe Shopping
A couple of months ago, I was staring at the shoe discount aisle looking for a new pair of sneakers. My previous pair had lasted a year and I would have worn them to this day, were it not for the rainy day that week when I discovered I’d worn a hole through the soles.
Squish, squish -Ewww!
So I was looking for new sneakers in the women’s section and eek!! So much pink!!
I absolutely ABHORRED pink.
A row of monotone sneakers caught my eye and immediately I snatched my size off the rack and cracked open the box to find that they were fricken HUGE!
I frowned, then I realized -oh, right, men’s sizes were different. So I scaled down like 3 sizes and found the perfect pair of navy blue & gray sneakers. Comfortable, soft, I loved em!
I was on my way out when I spot these adorable gray heeled shoes in the discount aisle. I wandered over -ooh, they look so cute! – and tried them on.
Just my size.
I picked them up –do I get them? do I even wear heels anymore?– and debate my choices.
- Hey, these are on sale. They are cute. You like them!
- I haven’t worn heels in YEARS. Just cuz they’re on sale, doesn’t mean I need to buy them. Where would I even wear them?
Time ticked by and I made an impulse decision. I’d buy the heels, and if I didn’t wear them, I’d take them back.
Nodding to myself, I headed for the checkout line and forked out the incredulous amount of money requested. Je-zhus!!
I wasn’t even home before I started wearing the sneakers. But the heels sat in their box by the front door, and days ticked by.
Every day, I looked down at those heels with a sense of guilt. Impulse buys are stupid, I can’t afford shoes I don’t even wear! Yeah, they’re adorable, but some other girl could be wearing them right now.
And, of course, the thought of –but you are more masculine, right? what’s with the heels?– slithered into my inner dialogue.
Whatever! I am who I am! I don’t need justification.
And, yet, the heels sat in the box for days. Weeks. A month.
I finally had to face reality. Okay, obviously, I’m never going to wear these…
And that made me a little sad.
Thinking back, heels were the cross over from my journey from girl-into-womanhood. I wasn’t allowed to wear heels until high school and only for church. I loved how I’d gain a couple inches in these beautifully designed shoes that made my feet look sexy. They made my legs look good, and I felt incredibly confident in them.
I remembered how I’d drifted away from wearing them in college once I stopped going to church. How a sexy pair of shoes couldn’t make me feel good about myself once I’d slipped into a self-deprecating state of mind.
Then I thought about the pile of heels under my bed under my parent’s house. Should I give those away? Do I need them anymore? What part of me would wear them anymore? A part of me protested under the thought of giving them away but it had been years since I’d worn most of them.
I looked down at the cute pair of gray heels I’d purchased last month and came to a decision after weeks of dawdling.
It was time to take them back to the store.
I went back to the store and got a full refund. Walking out, I didn’t feel much different. With the heels, or without them, I didn’t feel relief or trepidation. I just felt comfortable in my new sneakers, hoodie, jeans, and fingerless gloves heading to Starbucks for a mocha.
As much as who you are is what you wear, I find that who I am, isn’t much impacted by what I wear.
No matter what I do or do not wear, I’m still myself. And apparently, I don’t wear heels right now.
Maybe later in life, I will. Maybe I never will.
Either way, sometimes, you just got to let go of the past and move on to the future. Baby Steps.