I am a shoe fan from way back. The first pair that I ever loved was a sassy brown zip-up boot with a chunky rubber sole. I was three.
I have shoes in all colors and styles. My perfect shoe would be a 5 inch platform heel. Probably hot pink and encrusted with crystals. The problem is I can’t wear a shoe like that to the soccer field.
Cooler weather is right around the corner so I inventoried my shoe collection to see if there were any gaps that needed to be filled. Boots: check. Not to say that I won’t need another pair (or three) this winter. But I had enough to kick off the fall season.
Next I surveyed my ballet flats/loafers. I like to mix it up but I AM the mother of four. These shoes can be worn in any situation that my kids may drag me into. Let me stop here and say that I am aware that most people would just get a good pair of athletic shoes. I am not most people. That would be way too easy.
I only had one pair! How could this be? One little pair of giraffe print flats with a silver buckle sat there. Looking incredible lonely I might add. It was crystal clear that I would have to go shopping. STAT.
I am not totally self-absorbed. My kids did need new winter pajamas as well. I wanted to get them before it turned cold (In three or four weeks). SO I immediately headed to the mall. All for my kids of course.
I went to my favorite department store. Just walking into the shoe department does something to me. All the breathtaking choices. Just looking at all the shoes took me to my happy place.
I walked around, touching every pair. Historically I find several pairs that I like before I find THE one (or three) that magically calls to me. The one that screams: You NEED me hot mama. Come and get me.
It was everything that I loved in a shoe, minus five inches in height. It was leopard print and covered in sparkly bling. The light was hitting it in such a way that I just couldn’t look away.
Right about that time a salesperson appeared behind me. I am sure she instinctively knew that I had found THE one. Suddenly I felt epically unfulfilled and this was the only shoe that could save me. Or something like that.
She asked for my size and I blurted it out before I could stop myself.
She brought the box and told me if I needed any assistance just to let her know. And I was alone with the shoe. I ripped open that box like a kid on Christmas. I tore away all of the plastic, stuffed paper and those little plastic sticks that they shove into every show now. Then I placed one on each foot.
I walked over to the mirror, just as I had done so many times before. I looked at my foot. The shoe was gorgeous.
Wait….or was it?
All of a sudden I had an internal conflict going on. Did I love this shoe? Was I SUPPOSED to love this shoe? Was I ALLOWED to love this shoe?
You see I am 40. A lot of change has come in the last couple of years. One of the things that I ponder now is aging gracefully. There is a fine line between honey you aren’t 20 anymore and completely giving up.
Even though I am forty, I don’t feel 40. I still feel 25. In my brain anyway. So I should be able to wear any shoe that I want. The world is my oyster.
But lately I have been wondering about walking that line of age appropriate. Not trying to look like my daughter and not accidentally looking like my grandma.
I wondered who wore this style of shoe. Was I too old? Was I too young? If I like it then who cares? Except I don’t want to look silly dressing younger than I should. And I don’t want to succumb to little old lady shoes, like my grandma used to wear. Until I am a little old lady of course.
Nah. Not even then.
So I was staring at the shoes. But the shoes weren’t even the issue. Why was I questioning my choice? It’s my life. I can wear whatever I want. But the little voice in my head had never steered me wrong. The problems come when I ignore her.
The shoe is just one example. I have wondered, how should my make up change as I get a little older? What about my hair? When does longer than shoulder-length hair become trying too hard to look like my daughter? Is there a rule book? I need a copy.
Well never fear. I bought the shoe. Because with age also comes a huge dose of who cares what you think. I loved the shoe so I got it. I do wonder how many more of these episodes I will be faced with? What will I start questioning next?
As a woman there is no way I am going to fade into a wall flower. That is just not my style. I am going to do whatever makes me happy. I am sure I will be that little old lady still sporting hot pink ankle pants and five-inch platform heels.
Okay. Maybe two inches.
Aging is a process. It happens slowly, when you aren’t looking. It is not only physical. It is also a mental journey. I share my experiences with you. I cannot be the only one who has started questioning how to ease into middle age.
I am 40. I still want to be stylish(ish). I still want to be relevant. I still want to be fun. That doesn’t change because I hit a milestone.
Figuring it all out. One blog post at a time.