This I Believe

Kristen - Blue Bell, Pennsylvania
Entered on June 9, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
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I love shoes. I can always find a new pair that I want and have to be careful when I walk through the shoe department not to go too crazy. But while my love of shoes might seem like a superficial obsession, I believe that I can learn something from shoe shopping.

As a shoe shopping master, allow me to explain the process to you. When shoe shopping, it is important to use your personal sense of fashion, your general gut feeling about what you are looking for. For example, if you need shoes for everyday wear, you’ll probably be looking for shoes that are comfortable and a neutral color. Without this sense, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by all the choices and become completely lost. Personal fashion sense is necessary to be your guide.

Once you have an idea of what you want, you have to stick to your mission. You cannot be easily discouraged if a store doesn’t carry your size. If you’re considering going barefoot, you’ve got the wrong attitude. When nothing in the shoe department appeals to you, you must be willing stand by your beliefs and wait. Just because you can’t find what you want right now, doesn’t mean you should change your preferences.

The most important aspect of shoe shopping is knowing your own style. Even if you’ve found what you think you need and had the perseverance to find it, the whole trip is moot if the shoes don’t fit your style. The last thing you want is a pair of shoes that are contrary to your personality. If you’re self-conscious about your height, the trendiest, cutest platform wedges aren’t going to do you any good. If you love to stand out, a beige pair of flats isn’t going to suit you. It’s easy to get swept up by what everyone else is doing. By being true to yourself, you can stick to your own personal philosophy without being overcome by everyone else’s ideas.

Now, don’t think that this process is one that’s hard to master or only applicable to shoe-lovers. In fact, I’d say that if you don’t like shoes it’s even more important; you probably only have one pair, one chance to hit the mark. This makes the concept even more relevant. If you wear these shoes all the time, you want them to be your match in both form and function. Additionally, you should be willing to expend the time to find them.

By knowing yourself, the perfect shoes will be evident. Once you realize who you are, you will be able to find them quickly. My brother is the perfect example. He doesn’t even leave the house; he picks out his shoes online.

So while shoe shopping may not be considered an enlightening experience, there is something to learn about life from the trip. Shoe shopping, like life, becomes difficult when you lack an understanding of who you are. I’ve developed a determination and dedication to be true to myself. The shoes are just an added bonus.