A Moment to Appreciate Shoes

A thought occurred to me a few nights ago while sitting on the beach.  Sand was surrounding me, of course, and was finding its way into my black high top, Chuck Taylor Converses. 

Unlike most people, however, I did not see the sand as a pest or nuisance.  Instead, I was glad to feel it in my shoe, saw it as a souvenir of sorts.  Because to me, shoes are the objects that guide us everywhere, and are with us every step of the way...literally.

That's why to me, getting something on my shoes is almost a mark of honor.

Once, I spontaneously decided to go for a swim in the ocean, and I made sure I let my shoes get a bit wet with the salt water before I took them off.  It was simply so that I could know that they had experienced such an event.  And even after they dry, and any signs that the water was there has faded away, I will still know that they were dipped in the water.

Recently, one pair of my shoes walked 20 miles during Boston's Walk for Hunger.  When the event was over, the normally black shoes were practically brown with all of the dirt and residue.  Most people would be disappointed.  I was ecstatic.  That was my favorite keepsake from the day.

I suppose the reason that I appreciate the shoes so much is because looking at everything that my shoes have done gives me a new perspective on what I have done.  Being from a small town, it feels like nothing I have done is, or could ever be, spectacular.  But when put in a different context, my accomplishments seem different: 
  • This one pair of shoes survived four years of high school, and a full year of college. 
  • This pair of shoes walked 20 miles for charity. 
  • This pair of shoes worked eight hours after school. 
  • This pair worked almost 40 hours over the summer, and hung out with friends afterwords. 
  • This pair of shoes jumped on and off a carousel a countless amount of times during a summer job.
None of those things are a huge deal, but its the little things in life that should make us feel good about ourselves.  Maybe looking at our accomplishments from a different perspective is what we all need.  Maybe we should all appreciate our shoes more, and in turn appreciate ourselves more.