Guest Blog – March 23, 2012

My two good friends Cate and Julie started a blog last summer called Twenty Pieces. It’s a great site, with explorations on life with 20 pieces of clothing. I wrote a guest piece that went up today about shoes. Please read and check out the rest of the site. Click here to visit their site.

Or read it here:

Awhile back my friends Julie and Cate, who started this fabulous blog, called for their community to contribute to Twenty Pieces.  I thought it would be fun to contribute to the blog, but had not idea what to write about.  Around the same time I found a pair of shoes.  But not just any shoes.  I had been casually searching around for some loafers/boat shoes.  One day I happened to stop in DSW and came across the most perfect shoes.  They were more than I had anticipated spending, but as I walked around the store searching for a cheaper alternative, none could be found.  The shoes could be dressy, yet casual.  They were a nice tan shade, which meant it could go with every so many color combinations, and they had a more narrow shape (as opposed to all the other loafers, which were big and bulky).  You had me at hello.

I bought the shoes and proceeded to wear them everywhere.  Work, home, church, play.  These shoes were an almost daily part of my life.  And I delighted in them.  It was then that I considered that these very shoes may be my story to share with Twenty Pieces.  While the challenge says nothing about twenty shoes, there is something to be said about having a versatile pair to go with your twenty (or thirty, or fifty) pieces.  These were my twenty pieces shoes.  Yet, the blog never materialized.

Fast forward a month or so later.  I was wearing my shoes, walking easy, when I injured my foot.  Actually, the correct term should probably be, I re-injured my foot.  Long story short, I have not been treating my feet right, with wearing lots of flip flops and flat, flat, flat shoes.  My poor little feet need support and they have spoken up.  As I have been resting up my foot, I have had to transition to another form of footwear: my sneakers.  Now, they are not some hideous pair of shoes (they’re fun and have purple laces), but they don’t quite go with work attire.  Or dresses.  It has been a humbling and revealing experience to wear these shoes every day.  Some days, it complements the outfit.  Other days, I feel like Melanie Griffith in “Working Girl” (remember the scenes when they show all the women walking New York in their tennis shoes), and not in a good way.

As I have found myself complaining about my new footwear, I begin to see how vain I can be (I probably think this post is about me).  All joking aside, it has been an eye-opening glimpse into my heart.  I was never a girly girl.  I never spent hours primping in the morning.  I never thought vanity was a vice that I struggled with.  I have been surprised to find how much I desire to just wear my cute tan shoes again and how blech I feel wearing my sneakers.  I have discovered that I feel insecure wearing these shoes.  These shoes that my feet need.  These shoes of mine (one of many pairs), when many walk the street with none.  These shoes that were a gift last year when I first injured my foot.  I am afraid of what people will think of me when they see me.  Will they see a childish little girl?  Will they see someone who doesn’t take her job seriously?  Will they avoid me because of my appearance?  Will I not get asked out on a date because of these shoes?  Can I trust that people will see past the shoes?  Can I trust that God has me and loves me, whether I have the cutest foot wear or bare feet?

I don’t write this piece as a vindictive against fashion, or shoes even.  I appreciate the way that fashion can ennoble our existence, as Julie wrote earlier this week.  However, fashion can provide an avenue for insight into our impossible souls.   This week has been the case for me.  So, here I am, an insecure, shoe loving woman, who is slowly remembering that she is more than her shoes.

I look forward to getting to wear my tan loafers again, but for now, these are my Twenty Pieces shoes.

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