It's funny how the smallest of things can trigger so many different emotions. I have been out of work for the last two months and quite honestly enjoying this new lifestyle. I can sleep late if I want to, enjoy lunches out with friends without worrying about getting back in time for my next meeting and focus on figuring out what I really want to be doing rather than what is required to be done. If you bumped into me over these last two months, I likely told you that I'm doing fine, in fact enjoying this new found freedom.
That was true, at least until yesterday when I stopped to buy some new sneakers. When I was young, I attended parochial schools with uniforms. The trip each August to pick out my new school shoes represented the only opportunity for individualism and creativity in terms of dress for the next nine months. Each style we looked at conveyed an image, told a story about who I was. Would it be lace tie ups this year or perhaps a maryjane? Brown and black were staples, but what about grey or a caramel color perhaps? Now the heel had some restrictions in terms of height, but we had latitude on platforms vs chunky heels, flats or a kitten heel.
Fast forward to my years in the workforce when shoes became an essential element of my wardrobe. I could sport the highest of heels and the pointiest of toes and did so proudly. My mom always told me that the trick to having style is to understand what your "assets" are and accentuate them in your clothing selection. For me, it is my legs and as a result, I focused on my shoes more than anything else. There were even times when I would purchase a pair and then need to go find an outfit to match them.
In the store yesterday, there were rows upon rows of shoes. I strolled up and down each aisle, even though all I needed were sneakers. I longed for a reason to purchase the pumps with beige, cream and brown interwoven, the perfect compliment for a solid brown business suit. I kept returning to the white strappy sandals that would have been ideal for a sleeveless shift on a summer day in the office. Even the flats with black patent leather and gold trim were calling out for one of those days when I would be on my feet for extended periods of time, walking around the halls or giving presentations.
I finally ended up moving on to the aisle with the sneakers which I had originally stopped for. There were other women like me in those rows, casually dressed, looking for a comfortable shoe to wear while walking their dogs or heading out for a run. I looked at the hundreds of flip flops that would usher in the summer months at the beach. I even found myself attracted to the dressy shoes that promised to support and comfort the poor feet that gave at the office for all those years.
Yesterday, I missed my job and the shoes that went with it. But, I left that store with three new pairs of shoes, excited to see where they will take me.
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I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!