Shoes — The Sole of Life

Christen - Magnolia, Arkansas
Entered on May 6, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30

Stilettos, flats, tennis shoes, sandals, and boots — all types of footwear take all ages of people wherever they aspire to go in life. Many people assume shoes are simply a materialistic need, irrelevant to life, but venturing almost everywhere in America requires an individual to wear shoes. Each pair of shoes has its own adventure to create; the adventure depends entirely on the person wearing them. I began to believe in the true significance of shoes when I was younger, leading to the way I now view others’ lives and now my own life.

Growing up I had always wondered what it felt like to walk in my parents’ footsteps. I would notice my parents’ shoes, so different from each other, just like their lives. Every day they would have on different shoes for their different occasions as they went their separate ways. When they would leave for work, I would sneak into their closets to try on their shoes. Looking down at my parents’ over-sized shoes swallowing my feet, I would instantly wonder about all of the journeys traveled in them.

Within the first seconds of contact, human nature causes people to immediately judge a newcomer. The first time I meet a person, I instantly look at their shoes. It tells me volumes about their lives that I am yet to discover. The story is told by the design, the wear, and the store they purchased them in.

My collection of shoes started slowly. Progressively growing from a shelf-full to a closet-full, and now even to three closets-full, my shoe collection has grown symmetrically with my life — beginning with my first pumps, red Steve Madden shoes, so torn and depleted from the many places I would flaunt my first real pair of heels, to the tennis shoes I have run many miles in. Early morning runs and practices for long hours are reflected on a once white pair of now lopsided tennis shoes covered in a brown layer of permanent wear.

I am about to conclude my last few months of being a teen and open a brand new door to the next chapter of my life. The most exciting part of entering adulthood is the opportunity to erase immaturity forever and start over on a clean slate. Alongside me, my shoe collection also starts over. Having not yet reached the peak of my life or career, there are so many places to go and footsteps to take. The only decision to make now is which pair of shoes has the prestigious job of walking me through those once-in-a-lifetime experiences.