Wearing the holes in the soles of her shoes

Today was the kind of day where I just couldn’t stand not to be outside.  The sun was shining, but still merciful.  For once, I regretted that I do not live closer to the beach.  At first, I felt the urge to just run – to nowhere in particular – which, for those of you who know me, is a bit unusual.  And so I ran.  I ran for as long as I could – which was halfway around the block.  Then I returned home and collected my purse and decided to walk somewhere, anywhere.  I walked to the library, but couldn’t stay inside for long.  When I left, I had a hard time walking.  My shoes were rubbing my feet raw (they, it would seem, were not made for walking).  I’ve spent a lot of time the past month trying to find the perfect fitting shoes – ones that would keep my feet from aching after a day of walking, and ones that would hold up for more than a couple of months without getting holes in the soles.  But as I stepped out into the fresh winter sunshine, I wondered – why wear shoes at all?  If they hurt, take them off.  And so I did.  I walked the two miles back to my house barefoot.  I thought of the dozens of strange cities and beaches and mountains I’ve walked through over the years.  I walked across hot asphalt and cool concrete and soft, scratchy grass (where I inevitably found a patch of prickers) – the whole while musing over the various song lyrics and old adages about shoes.

They say that to know someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes.  But sometimes, I wonder if that would really work.  I wonder how many of us forget even to walk in our own shoes.  Our shoes contain us.  They cage and compartmentalize us.  Polished black shoes for working that cushy day job; bright white trainers because we swear we’ll make it to the gym this time; strappy sandals to go with that new sundress that was just made for flirting with strangers – each pair of shoes is only a part of who we are.  No, I decided, to know someone you must walk a mile in their skin.  In their feet.  In your skin.  In your feet.  Why do you think they call it “baring your soul”?  I don’t think it is a coincidence that we speak of both souls and soles being bared.

One Word

Everyone has been asked at some point by a college application letter or silly myspace suvey that one question: What ONE word would you choose to describe yourself?

I’ve always answered with eclectic, or eccentric (which is like eclectic with a little crazy genius thrown in).  I want to be everywhere and do everything all at once, and I want to learn and retain all of the knowledge and experiences in the process (you can see where the crazy might come in).   I have always had a wide taste in everything- music, movies, books, foods, drinks, cultures, interests.  It occured to me that some people might call this “flaky”.  It could be said that my interests change based on what’s hip or which people I hang out with.  But anyone who has known me long enough knows I have definitely never been hip or trendy.  And why yes, I do do different things based on who I am with because I like doing all these things and they might not.  So we can both be happy by doing what they want then why make anyone unhappy?

Which brings me to another word– Genuine.  I have never though of it before, but “Genuine” would be a good word to describe me.  I have a weird selection of tastes because I choose things I genuinely like, without regard to what other people think.  I do the same with people.  I choose to associate with people I genuinely like, and not with people because they might make me popular or “have connections” or whatnot.  When I interact with people, it is in a genuine manner.  Anyone who knows me well enough knows me as too nice.  I am too nice to everybody, and get taken advantage of a lot.  But I do it because I genuinely care.  Even if I know people aren’t going to tip me, I’m still nice, because I know what it’s like to barely have the money for the food let alone a tip.  But you best not be rude to me.

I don’t care if I’ve known you for five years or five seconds, I take everything personally and to heart.  If you are rude to me, I wonder what I said to make you so.  If you don’t tip me, I wonder what I forgot to do.  If you ignore me or blow me off, I wonder what I did to upset you.  If you dump me, I ask what I did wrong.  My inquisitive nature gives me the need to understand everything all the time.  I need explanations. If you are crying, I want to know why and what I can do to fix it.  If you are having a bad day or week, I want to make it better.  If you are sick I want you to get better.  And silly naive little me expects the same things from other people.

But lets face it, there are very few genuine people left in this world.  Most people are out for themselves.  Some people pretend to care about others, but only to further some agenda they have.  Meanwhile, the people who are genuine are constantly struggling.  Struggling to help everyone else, to make everything work, to care for their loved ones, to understand the cruel and ungiving world we live in.  In all my studies, I will never understand the most basic of human social concepts.  I will never understand lying and cheating and manipulating.  I will never understand the need to “fit in”, which is not the same as the human need to “belong”.  I will never understand war and violence and cruelty.  No matter how cynical and jaded and bitter I have become (which I really have, sadly), the naive little girl in me will always wish everyone could just live happily ever after.

So I challenge you, among all the other words you may be, may one day everyone be called “genuine”.

Waxing Philosophical

One of my friends today made a joke about the age old question- which came first, the chicken or the egg?  I say they came at the same time, there was either a chicken in the egg or an egg in the chicken.   This is my over thinking logical side coming out again.   You know the other quintessential question: is the glass half empty or half full?  I say it’s all the way full, whatever’s not filled with liquid is filled with air!  This does not make me an optimist.  In fact, I am quite the pessimist.  I really wonder what a psychologist would say about my answers though.  I reckon it would be somewhere along the lines of: “you think too much”.  In this day and age, that’s a bad thing.

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