I always check the shoe aisle at Ross even if I’m there for something as remote as new underwear. With feet like mine—narrow as rulers, arches like bridges, and one super bunion that makes my right foot freakishly wide at the top—one must continually be in scout mode.

Yesterday, after making my primary purchase, I cruised the shoe aisle in search of sandals. It may be January on the outside, but inside, it’s Hawaii. In two weeks, I embark on a new venture as a facilitator for The Peaceful Woman. Currently, my only sandals are heavy, black, fake-suede affairs that qualify as the “clodhoppers” of the sandal world. I could still be peaceful in them I’m sure. But I wouldn’t be as cute.

As I roamed the shoe aisles, a few worthy life lessons sauntered into my head—which just goes to show you that lessons are everywhere. Either that or my mind has become skewed by the continual need for blog material.

Lesson One – Keep looking until you see. The shoe aisle at Ross is complicated, a tangled field of possibility. Camouflage spikes are side-by-side with delicate pink ballet shoes, each pair bound together for better or for worse. The whole spectrum of the American female is on display and it takes some devotion to keep looking until you see yourself in the mayhem. Life asks this of us too. ... to keep looking ….and looking until we see what suits, what’s comfortable, what’s ours. Like shoes, what we find sometimes wears out, which means “looking until we see” is a lifelong occupation

Lesson Two – What you’re looking for is often in the “wrong” aisle. Shoes migrate at Ross. (Not everyone had a mama who instilled the value of putting things back where you found them or a psyche willing to accept the advice.) Sizes migrate too—as reflected in the mysterious whims of shoe manufacturers who obviously don’t see toe-toe-toe on sizing. And then there are your feet: some days bony, some days bloated. What’s a woman to do? Look outside the aisle. Most of the time when I need something in life, it shows up in a way (or from a source) that I hadn’t considered—and would have missed if I had stayed on my designated isle of thought. Yesterday, the perfect pair of silver dress sandals was a half-size over hanging out with the running shoes.  

Lesson Three – Trying on the same shoe twice doesn’t make it fit better. Is it just me? When I find a pair of shoes I really love and really want—only to find that my feet don’t share my fetish, I almost always try them on again a few minutes later. What is that? Hope that my feet have changed their bony minds or that maybe I just wasn’t paying enough attention the first time? At least I don’t buy them anymore. We do this in more hazardous ways, though, don’t we? Trying something on for size, knowing it doesn’t fit, but trying again or even stepping into it because we want it to fit, believe we need it, or feel the pressure to cramp our own sweet style. If the shoe fits, wear it—and if it doesn’t, walk on through the wind, walk on through the rain, until you find your dream shoe.

Together on the Evolving Journey,

Maridel