I’m practicing one of the main lessons that I learned at the ashram, Non- Attachments. I was cleaning my closet when I finally made it to the shoe department – by department I mean the dusty boxes on top of my closet.
Through the years I’ve given away most of my clothes. However, I’ve always found it harder to get rid of shoes. No! It’s not because I’m some Carrie Bradshaw wanna be, but because shoes have acquire a deeper meaning to me, they´re not about fashion, but about walking through life.
Ever since I was a pre-adolescent girl clothes have always been a nightmare, I was too skinny and clothes never fit, so my mother would buy me shoes instead. I didn’t dress well, but I always had awesome shoes. And it actually lifted my self-esteem, they made it easier to walk through those complicated teenage years.
As time went by, I kept on holding to my old shoes, storing them in my closet, gathering dust and memories.
As I cleaned my closet I realized I wasn’t holding on to my shoes because they’re pretty or practical but because of what they represent. I was holding on to the stories they tell.
As I sat there, surrounded by the shoes of my life the stories and memories started flashing through my mind.
Baby’s first steps of miles to come.
This were my older sister’s shoes, they were then handed down to my other sister and they eventually made their way to me.
I only have one left, but this were the pair I wore as a slowly started giving my first steps.
Walking in my mother’s shoes.
These were my mother’s shoes. I would wear them when I was a little girl, my feet too small for them. I would walk around my house pretending I was grown up, I use to say that when I grew up those would be my favorite pair of shoes.
She handed them down to me and I wore them for my high school play, I got the lead part and a standing ovation.
Stepping out of childhood and into adolescence.
This walked me through my adolescence; I took this pair to my first date. I was 15 years old and soo incredibly nervous.
The wooden sole made a strong noise on the ground as I walked, they made me feel empowered.
Walking through love
I got this pair in France, I was going to a gala dinner party. My Norwegian crush was in Rennes for only one week for a university competition, it was his last night in town and I wanted to look pretty.
We danced all night while we drank gin and tonics. He kissed me at the end of the night.
I was 19 years old and lived for today.
Running through a broken dream.
I was in London in search of my dream of becoming an actress, I was 21 years old. It was rainy and cold and I was having a difficult time. I was not only alone, but lonely.
I saw them through the window of a store. This pair of shoes walked me through the airport on my way back, after getting my dreams crushed. I felt like shit but at least I had pretty shoes.
Every step you take gets you closer to something.
My mother bought me this ones, I was going to Vancouver. She said I needed comfortable shoes to walk through forests and mountains.
I was wearing this when I decided to enroll in University. I had quit school over three years back, and so I went back.
Shoes too big to fill.
It was my sister’s birthday and I hadn’t gotten her a present, I rushed to the mall and found this pair of sandals. I knew she wouldn’t like them so she would give them to me, but that way I wouldn’t show up to her birthday party empty-handed. I felt really guilty afterwards.
I rarely wore this on hot summer days through my university years.
Sometimes people don’t walk away, they fly away.
This walked me through my best friends departure. She moved away and had too much stuff, she gave me this pair of heels. I wore them when I left her apartment for the last time, I took my sandals off and wore this instead.
This was five years ago and it was the last time I saw her. I miss her.
Stumbling through a drunken night.
My sister took me to Vegas to celebrate our birthdays. We where going out and I forgot to pack a pair of heels, so I bought this ones. I wore them to a club where I got incredibly drunk and met a “handsome” guy. At 6am we thought it be fun to get married, but my sober sister didn’t let me. He dropped us off at our hotel and I stayed outside talking to a homeless guy.
The next morning I saw the pictures of the previous night, needless to say my “handsome” guy was everything but handsome.
I never wore this shoes through consumerism, I just bought them and never used them. They were on sale and too big for my feet but I wanted to buy stuff I didn’t need for the sole purpose of satisfying and internal emptiness.
Stepping out of my comfort zone.
It was the coldest winter of my life.
I was living in New Zealand and working for an NGO, which involved being outdoors most of the time. Shoes in New Zealand are very expensive, especially if you want good quality.
I hadn’t packed practical shoes and my feet were constantly tired, cold and wet. I couldn’t afford new shoes and was too proud to ask my parents for money. So I called my sister, she got me this water proof, cold proof boots and shipped them my way.
The day I got them I honestly cried with joy. I not only wore this to work, but they also got me to high mountains and even New York. After stepping into this shoes I realized it’s more important to suck in my pride and ask for help when I need it.
There are things in life you can’t run away from.
My dad loved this pair of shoes, he said I looked like a doll with them, and so I wore them to his funeral.
Paws on my shoes.
I found Taco on the street after my father died. Now Taco is helping me practice Non-Attachment by eating my shoes, couches, diaries… and pretty much everything.
Taco ate ALL of my sandals, so I got this pair for $5 dollars.
She hasn’t eaten this ones, I don’t know if it’s because they’re cheap and the plastic is bad quality.
Taco has expensive taste.
Less is more
This is what I wore in the Ashram. They were free, included when I was born.
The ones that I have taken absolutely everywhere, the ones that have truly walked me through life.
Disclaimer: This story does not promote consumerism and superficiality. Please don’t buy stuff you don’t need.