There are certain events or moments in your life that can leave a lasting impression on you. This moment for me was about a pair of bright green shoes I got in sixth grade. I got a new pair of shoes on my 10th birthday. They were all ten year old me could ever ask for. I loved these shoes so much. But maybe just a little too much – to the point where I feared ruining them. I didn’t want to lose them, I didn’t want them to get dirty as I played, I wanted them to remain untouched and polished as if I had just bought them. So I came up with a plan. I would only wear these shoes when I needed to. I’d reserve them for special events to make sure that they would never lose their so-called “value.”
In theory it wasn’t a bad idea, but in real life there were some issues. No event was good enough. So those shoes remained in that closet for years and years. Until I came across them a couple of years ago.
They were the exact same, bright green and polished like they had just come out of the box. It was just what I asked for. But it didn’t feel right, I couldn’t remember how many times I had actually worn those shoes. You see I loved those shoes so much, to the point that I never wore them out of fear or ruining them. Looking at those shoes, three sizes too small now, I couldn’t help but think I had lost out on something that I could never get back. I had missed out on that opportunity to enjoy wearing the shoes in fear that I was going to lose them. I may not have ruined those shoes but it didn’t matter because I lost what they really meant. Shoes are meant to be worn, they’re meant to wear out and grow old over time. They were meant for me to play in and enjoy, not to observe. I had lost that and I knew in that moment I would do anything for those shoes to be old and run down.
You see I loved those shoes so much, to the point that I never wore them out of fear or ruining them. Looking at those shoes, three sizes too small now, I couldn’t help but think I had lost out on something that I could never get back.
You may think this story is silly, I mean I’m talking about shoes I got when I was ten. There’s bigger things, more important things to discuss, why these shoes out of all things? Why this story? Some things are best understood when simplified. The world is full of things that feel too big to comprehend and when you’re living it, it’s harder to step back and put things into perspective. A simple story about shoes can help achieve that.
There are things in our life that we hold on to for too long out of love, that in turn cause us pain.
Whether it’s a friendship or maybe even your childhood, it’s hard to lose the things we love the most. But choosing to live our life in fear of what’s to come is no better. Things will change, things do deteriorate over time and stuff is lost along the pathway of life. You can either choose to see the value that lies in the now or you’ll risk missing out.
When I looked at those shoes years ago, I felt the pain of wishing I had lived more, wishing I didn’t miss out on what I had. I now know that I can’t repeat those same mistakes. Whether it’s learning to enjoy the present, or maybe that new pair of jeans you’ve been waiting for the right moment to wear. Remember that sometimes there’s no better time than now, because the future is always coming and we unfortunately can’t change the past. Instead of always waiting for a better moment consider that maybe that better moment is now.