When I got home tonight I kicked off my shoes, carried them into my closet and tossed them amongst my collection of footwear.
I tend to think of my life in chunks; of years; of stages of different roads traveled. When I looked at my shoe collection on this particular night, I saw remnants of my life jostled together.
I noticed the trendy black flats from Bloomingdales that I had treated myself to after my first pay check from the law firm in New York City. How many times had they taken me from my apartment at 55th and Broadway to my office at 5th Ave and 54th? These shoes strolled with curiosity, wonder and excitement. But the luster faded, and the black Pradas seemed vapid. I wondered was it time to trade them in for thicker soles/souls?
And, how funny, that on the shelf below I saw, a longer row of flips flops and slip on sneakers – the years back home again. The woman in these shoes needed more comfort. As if the owner was searching for a new address on a dimly lit path. Although, this road led to an important lesson– life is not about the high fashion patterns of your soles but the high intellect of your soul. These walks were spent thinking of the value of character, the depth of knowledge and how to impart that on others? I think I will always be shopping in search of the right fit for this particular marathon.
There are shoes piled high that have traveled to the far reaches of continents. The woman in those shoes was, and still is, searching for culture and identity, value and wisdom. I should put these shoes in boxes to preserve the value of their dust laden in their laces.
There are shoes passed on from my sister. These are always worn in with love and practicality and lessons that one can only learn from traveling in your wiser, older sister’s shoes.
There are shoes bought for fun. Heals too high that leave your bruised with calluses as if to say, “this isn’t for the long run.”
Finally, way back in the corner, there are some shoes left barely worn. But, I can’t bring myself to give them away because “who knows, one day I might travel down that road again?”
And so I wonder what shoes will be added? What value or lesson will they bring? What shelf I can place them on? What the road will lead to next? Hopefully I have equipped myself with the right soles and that the roads I traveled up to that point will have made me a better soul. Luckily, I am left with a map, the years ahead and a closet with some extra space.