Toe Shoes 👞
Now for a lighter story.
Years ago I read an incredibly inspiring book called "Born To Run" 🏃. It stirred a desire to take my the hobby of running to the next level. Running was at that time really the only exercise I enjoyed. I liked the mechanics of it - put your head down and place one foot in front of the other. Seemed straightforward enough.
Well after reading this book 📚 that basic understanding was challenged. I was constantly falling off the wagon of my exercise routine because of injuries. So with my new found knowledge I decided to spring for some alternative foot wear - trail gloves or as I call them "Toe Shoes".
They're quite unusual looking if I'm being honest. And having your toes separated by fabric just felt a bit weird. However aside from my calf muscles working like they've never worked before, my other runner related aches and pains had all but disappeared. So I decided to wear them in a more public setting. I started wearing them on the bus.
Now this one time I walked up to the bus there was a character waiting at the same stop. I say character because this particular guy most definitely marched to beat of his own drummer. He wore a paper Burger King crown 👑, his headphones 🎧 with ears pointed outwards blasting his rap music, all the while singing 🎤 along word by word in a very loud and public karaoke like display.
Let's call him the "Paper Burger King"👑. Now the Paper Burger King always kept to himself, even though drawing a lot of attention by his behavior. He wouldn't make eye contact with you or even return a morning hello. Everyone and everything was dead to the world to this guy. He was clearly eccentric. Until the day I wore my Toe Shoes 👞 to the bus stop. Something in his brain 🧠 seemed to struggle with my attire. He couldn't stop starring at them. Then occasionally glancing daggers 🗡 back at me. Even when I multiple times tried to make eye contact with him and a friendly smile he seemed visibly upset by my shoes.
Now I started to feel self conscious. I slowly started to feel embarrassed by my tastes in footwear. I was getting shade for wearing something that made me feel comfortable. I wasn't hurting anyone and I was just being proactive about something I took interest in. Sure it might of been an odd looking piece of fashion. But it was my choice. I slowly started to feel lower and lower during the bus ride.
Finally that evening I took off the shoes feeling like a dummy. Then it struck me. This whole time I was allowing myself to be passively belittled by the Paper Burger King! This guy didn't know me. He wore a paper Burger King hat in public and he was clearly an adult. Why was I letting someone rob me of this thing I enjoyed?!
I've recently been going back to therapy for dealing with some repressed experiences. Some of which stories have and might continue to bubble up in this blog. But the one thing I discovered about a good therapist. Is the non judgmental approach. My therapist is so open and affirming that it has spoken to me in such an amazingly profound way! It's silly to allow others to choose how we feel. And the harm we do to ourselves by giving them permission to be cruel is a down right travesty.
So today if you're feeling the itch for flair that makes you feel you go for it! And don't let the Paper Burger Kings bring you down!
Thanks for reading 📖