It feels like I’ve come to a crossroad in my life.
Following my most recent battle with depression and now realizing that I have a chronic autoimmune illness that I have to contend with, I’m giving fewer and fewer rats asses about things. Like the fact that I just used the expression “rats asses”. Here. On my blog. In my daily life, I tend to use profanity like sprinkles on a cupcake:it doesn’t really enhance the flavor, but, often times, it just seems like a necessary addition.
Words are important, and they mean things, but they are also just words. And people who get their knickers in a wad about profanity make me risk spraining an eye socket from heaving rolling. The people I refer to use Bible verses talking about unwholesome speech, yet they don’t have a problem wagging their tongues with all manner of unwholesome speech. Like gossip. Or insincerity. Or judgmentalism. I find all of that much more repulsive than a well timed expletive.
But that’s just me.
All I’m saying is, you might find more “sprinkles” dropped on this cupcake in the future and you can consider yourself warned. If that causes you to stop reading, well, me and my other 2 followers will miss you, but we totally get it.
I suppose this crossroads has a lot to do with my recent birthday as well. 36 means I’m now closer to 40 than 30 and I’m gaining ground toward true middle age.
I work with women younger than myself. I have a young daughter. Nieces. Younger cousins. Some of them are watching me. (Dare I say, look up to me?) My daughter, especially, keeps me ever-aware of the example I’m setting. Which is why I recently bought a pair of orthotic shoes.
Please understand that my daughter is almost halfway to her 15th birthday. She recently discovered that she had eyebrows to manage and hair to care for and somehow, out of the clear blue, she is now eyeing me like a true teenager. I hollered out the window at one of her friends at school yesterday and my daughter ducked down in the seat beside me, embarrassed at my display of what? Volume?
I don’t even know anymore. I just know it doesn’t take much to make my earbud-wearing offspring feel completely repulsed by my existence.
Last week, we meandered into a shoe store and I, tired of dealing with sore feet and an aching body, decided to try on and seriously look at purchasing some orthotic shoes. I tried on several pair, and with each selection, my daughter would state an emphatic “Ew. No.” (Not unlike Jimmy Fallon’s Sara-with-no-h-cause-h’s-are-Ew!)
She even went so far as to poll her Instagram followers about it. The next day she reported that I had lost the “Are these shoes ugly?” poll. Only 2 other people had sided with me. One was a grandmother, the other was a girl at school who gets made fun of for her shoe choices.
Still, I am the person who loves the Croc brand like it’s still cool so even though I left the pair I tried on at the store, I did return home and buy a pair, online.
I’m going to say something here that, 10 years ago, I’d have never said before:
I love my ugly-ass shoes.
And the thing is, they aren’t ugly to me. Even my daughter has conceded that the ones I chose aren’t too terribly disgusting. But they aren’t the cute little wedges or heeled sandals I could have and would have worn in my 20’s. And I officially don’t care.
I love my ugly-ass shoes like a little girl loves the tacky, unmatching outfit she picked out her very own, big girl self.
We are expecting bad weather this morning in Mississippi and if Mother Nature spins out a tornado and I have to take refuge, I’m taking those damned shoes with me. That’s how much I love them.
I haven’t hurt all over these last few days like I was when I was wearing shoes with 0 arch support. And best of all, my feet themselves don’t hurt. No blisters.
Did you hear what I said? I bought a new pair of dress shoes this week. I wore them ALL DAY the first day I got them and I have ZERO BLISTERS. What I’m saying is, I didn’t have to break them in.
All of this is entirely new territory to me and if I had several hundred dollars to blow, I’d be on that shoe website ordering all kinds of treats and slapping open a garbage bag into which I would rake every other shoe I own.
The point of this post is simply to tell you, my reader, that I spent 35 years of my life constantly evaluating the choices I made while heavily considering what other people would think about those choices.
I am all for being considerate and kind and all of that, but some things are just our own for the deciding. Like buying the shoes that make us feel like we’re walking on little clouds or dropping a handful of “sprinkles” into a light-hearted yet completely serious blog post about crossroads and aging and orthotic shoes.
And those who don’t understand the necessity for those things will either understand eventually, or they never will. But either way, it ain’t my problem.
I used to fret so much about the crossroads in life. The pressure of making the wrong decision could drive me quite bonkers.
But now, I just surge ahead, confident that, even if I made a bad decision, there’s always another crossroads up ahead to get it right. And I’ve got just the pair of shoes to get me there.