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Monday, October 02, 2006
Are You Ready, Boots?

~ These Boots Are Made For Walking, Jessica Simpson.

I have a nice collection of shoes. These days I have a love for for the middle range, with nicer cuts and finer material that are gentle to my achy dancing feet. Aldo remains my favourite uncontested for the second year running.

I returned home with nothing more than my make up, facial products and five pairs of newly acquired shoes. Packed in a backpack and a small hand luggage, everything weighed less than 13 kilograms, which I was very pleased. I really could not be arsed to carry everything half way around the world. Not in this day and age, with all the security checks and frisking.

But back to the story of my shoes collection. You will be surprised that shoes can teach you a lesson or two about life and living. Before leaving for the UK four months ago, PY and I went for a crazy shopping trip. I ended up with two pairs of black shoes from TopShop. These shoes I blogged about. But on top of that, I bought a weird looking chunky slimy green leather mock crocodile shoes from Nine West. There were really towering high and were weird looking (but is the latest rage at the moment when matched with men trousers). There is even a photo of it in ANNN!

I bought the pair in such a great hurry that I failed to realise how painful it was to wear them. They were so painful that my feet ached 10 minutes in them. The shoes’ widest section was not wide enough. Imagine the blisters that my two feet had to endure in the name of good looks and fashion! I vacuumed the floor wearing them, despite how painful the shoes were. I even managed to walk around in London, not on one occasion but twice!

There were a few occasions that I felt like giving them up. They were beautiful but they were what Paris Hilton would be, if Paris was a pair of shoes. The shoes were beautiful but not the most functional thing on earth. The red blisters were horrid and my feet felt as if they were severed from the rest of my body. There was just no blood flowing through them.

Then there was this pair of black Jones sneakers that I bought. They were black laced with a white tongue and leather on the upper and the insides. They were the most comfortable shoes that I had worn in a long, long time! My feet embraced the cool soft leather as they slipped into them. I loved them so much that I wore them in the house for a long time, which scared Alex because he has never seen the housewife side in me. I was beginning to slack into this homebody routine because of this pair of shoes.

I decided to wear them to the Notting Hill Carnival. It was quite logical, do you not agree? Obviously I should be wearing the most comfortable pair of shoes for the anticipated long walk and standing session. So I did. I walked around the area on a Sunday afternoon with Kat and Nicholas, where whistles were blown and festivities were all around. Lots of horse poo too.

I returned home at 7 p.m. that evening with a pair of blistered feet. Somehow the walk rubbed the softest leather against my toes and two blisters the size of my pinkie fingernail developed. My Jones sneakers were never the same since the day of fun filled samba dances and steel bands. They were fine for leisurely work desk to the kitchen to the toilet to the work desk routine but never take them out for a long walk.

Let’s go back to the slimy green pair of leathers I wrote about earlier. They were so unbearable, even for a short walk about my home that I wanted to throw them out. Or give them to the Red Cross or something. Probably the Red Cross would chuck the pair out since they did nothing but constrict the flow of blood to the wearer’s feet! Now would it not be ironic if I told you that I flew back to Malaysia wearing them?

While it was true that my initial green pair of Nine West experience was terribly painful and I had nearly given up on them, they were steadfast and stood the test of time. They are now my comfort shoes! And the pair of soft leather sneakers from Jones was deceiving. They were soft at the very first touch but were terribly cruel when worn over a longer period of time. These Jones were good for the shorter sweeter times but failed when the tougher times rolled by.

These two pairs of shoes taught me a lesson in life. Not all that is hard and painful is bad and not all that is soft to touch is good. Your initial experience is not necessarily the precursor you had expected when the tides of change wash your life.

I realised there is a different point of view after my experience wearing these two pairs of shoes. I used to loathe problems and view terrible things as bad. Now I view them as a pressure cooker time, to prepare and train me to be lean and tough. I welcomed changes and “difficult times” because I realised that these are the events that will shape me to be stronger and more resilient.

Similarly I view “good things” different these days. I have an internal disdain for what many would view as “good” because like the pair of Jones, I realised that they might just be good for the short sprint. And I know that life does not consist of a sprint. It is a marathon, so I better get good shoes for it.

This lesson extends beyond material things. My tale of the two shoes can be easily applied to friendships as well. They have taught me to be discerning. Who are my good friends? Who are my bad? Is it possible that friends who are giving me a hard time are bad? Could they be just like my pair of Nine West, painful at the beginning but nurturing till the end? Are my supportive and happy friends the Jones sneakers in equivalent? Could they be deceptively smooth and soft at the beginning but poisonous at the very end?

And since I intend for my life to be like a long marathon, I am sure that I might discover at every other corner, another friend who is a Jones equivalent, happy and smooth friendship at first but bitter and tragic at the final cut. I am equally as certain that I would celebrate a bad event in near future because it turned out to be a Nine West – a tough challenge at first but the experience would have strengthened my character when it really mattered.

I shall see you at the finishing line. Till the, I will pray for you and me, that all of us will find more Nine West experiences in our lives and we will not have too many Jones for friends.

Examples of Jones and Nine Wests in my life
Or perhaps just the Jones...

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If friends make your shoes, I'll be your Bata. Har har har!

7:30 am  

Bata huh? You'll be strong, reliable and value for money, is it? Wahhhhh like that, then I must belanja you makan..... *winks*

7:35 am  

size 38.

I'll keep that in mind.

8:50 am  

It often amazed me by the amount of things we can learn from simple things around us. And this is an absolutely eye-opening post for some! :) And I wish I could have friends like my Adidas slippers - loyal, flexible, reliable even after 2 years, always there, no problem during rain or shine and best of all, I got them on discounts.

4:12 pm  

Hey, didnt know you blistered your feet after the carnival.

A well written analogy on life.

9:51 pm  

Heys Otto. Sorry for the lack of comments, I've just sat here reading your past posts for the last month or so.

I absolutely love your shoe analogy. One girl can never have too many shoes. But most can only find very few shoes to rely on - for comfort AND fashion. ;)

11:26 pm  

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