I can’t believe that I have been wearing size 5 shoes for so long while being size 4,5. Once we moved to a place where I had to walk a considerable distance across the country side, I have become aware of the poor fit – my feet hurt, it felt uncomfortable and walking became a problem. I also realised that all these years I lived knowing that I wore shoes in the wrong size and yet tolerated it. Why was I ok with it? Why would I not buy shoes in the right size?
Practically speaking I was an urban dweller in my previous life and so I did not need to walk for too long. Also it is easier to buy shoes in a full size and the choice of styles is bigger. Style mattered more than comfort (so no walking boots). But most importantly I thought that the ill fitting shoes were ok, that it was worth the pain, that it was good enough. Once I tried size 4,5 shoes (thank you, Clarks), I could not believe the comfort, the fit, the ease of walking. But I still continued to wear mostly shoes in size 5. I looked for lifehacks, for example I put in soles to improve the fit. Improvement was marginal. Mad, right?
And then just like that while exploring self compassion (aka self love) this year I decided I had enough. I deserve the best. I deserve that my shoes fit. I am embracing my true shoe size and I am not going to settle for anything less. I am only going to get what is best for me.
This story is about shoes but shoes are also a metaphor. How many of us are wearing the ‘wrong shoes’ – at work, in relationships, in life, not being authentic, putting others before us, settling for ‘good enough’, lying to ourselves and the world and living the lie? Have you outgrown your job? Are you not into the person anymore? Do you hate where you live? Have you had enough of ‘ill fitting shoes’?
It’s a big first step to pause and notice that you have the ‘wrong size shoes’ on. Think – why are you doing this? Do you think this is what you deserve? If you were advising somebody else in the same situation, would you advise them to settle for what they’ve got even if it’s wrong for them? The second big step is to do something about it. I just ordered a pair of size 4,5 walking boots.