"These shoes are meant for walking"
“Your heel is much lower than ours, you should be the most comfortable out of all of us. I think you’re exaggerating! Your shoes are actually flat compared to ours, you're fine.” After my co-bridesmaid’s “words of encouragement,” I looked down at my feet and they were swollen, had blisters, and I couldn't breathe. I kept thinking to myself, “she's right, I should be fine,” but I was far from fine. I was miserable the entire time, from taking pictures, to walking around and helping the bride get her perfect pictures. ALL of it was torture for me! I was very happy for my friend and her husband, but I just wanted that day to be over! If you have ever worn an uncomfortable shoe, then you know this feeling. If you haven’t, DON’T, it's not worth it.
Fast forward to 2+ years later, that very same pair of shoes is one of my most comfortable shoes and I can wear them all night and can even dance in them! My dancing skills, however are a whole other discussion, for a different day. Today, I enjoy wearing those kinds of style shoes. Here’s the truth about that day: I knew the moment I got the text from my friend about the shoes she wanted us to wear as her bridesmaids, that I was going to suffer. I had avoided wearing block-heeled sandals before then because they were uncomfortable for me, but I wanted to honor the bride and dress the part.
I was packing the other day for a trip, as I packed those shoes; I smiled remembering that day. That experience taught me a few things. It taught me that it’s okay to not be where everyone else is, even if they make you feel less than or insult you, it is okay!. Never go ahead of God’s timing, trust your process and your path to destiny. If you don’t, you will endure preventable or unnecessary suffering. Don’t fake it till you make it, PRAY till you make it!
After the wedding, I was able to wear the pair of heels, with no pressure, allowing myself to become comfortable in them. Give yourself time and be patient while you learn and grow.
With the social media pressure banging at our doors everyday, it's getting harder to be honest with ourselves about where we truly are. We would rather choose internal suffering, which will leave us depressed and anxious, rather than owning who we are out of fear of losing people's approval or likes. It doesn’t have to be that way. It is okay to follow your own lane, your own path and to also not be ready to do certain things, yet. Even if it means losing “friends”, it's okay to not be involved in what society deems popular, trendy and successful.
When I saw those shoes, again, I was reminded of what I learnt on that wedding day:
You can’t control what people think or say about you.
People’s idea of who they think you should be is not your responsibility.
Some people may not understand your pain, and that's okay. They are not meant to understand.
Don’t ever force yourself to do something that will make you suffer, just to fit in. It's never worth it.
Let them talk, don’t let that distract you from your path!
Be honest, even if it will call judgement on you.
I am so grateful that God will metaphorically use a shoe experience as a reminder of how far I’ve come. Never compromise your process and succumb to pressure. Your destination is different from those around you. Focus on your purpose and your own journey. It will all be worth it, in the end!