Now I know that the Chiffons are dancing in your head right now as you hum the tune “One Fine Day.”
My post has nothing to do with that song.
It’s just that one fine day I decided to go without shoes.
Last Tuesday, I participated in an event sponsored by TOMS shoes. This was a day where people around the world decided to ditch their shoes so we could put ourselves in someone else’s “shoes.” It was an event to raise awareness for awareness about global children’s health and education.
There were several at ISU that participated with me in this challenge.
I will say, I am not sure how many I actually spread the word to throughout the day, but it was a simple step for me to take a look at this issue.
Here are some of my personal observations from the experience.
1. Not wearing shoes is not the norm. People stared and did those double take looks. At first, many people were squeamish about the idea of it it. I found myself often throughout the day hiding my feet so people wouldn’t stare. I felt a little naked…And I even chose to go shoeless.
2. I walked different than I do with shoes. I found myself walking on my toes instead of the whole foot. Which one is better I don’t know, but I did it because I felt like I needed less of my foot to hit the ground to protect it.
3. Because of my high arches and walking abnormally as said above, my feet and knees were in pain by the end of the day without my hand dandy arch supports I slip into every pair of shoes I own.
4. I did not fully participate in the challenge because I knew there were places that I could not go without shoes like restaurants. I also didn’t feel comfortable going barefoot when I was outside with Grace. Who knows what would have happened if she would have ran after a bunny or leaf blowing in the wind. So there were parts of the day that I did slip my shoes back on. I couldn’t bring myself to even really go the full day.
5. I did go to public restrooms without shoes. All I have to say is that I feel fortunate that I was going in women’s restrooms. But there were comments made by others who wouldn’t go because they couldn’t bring themselves to go barefoot in the lavatory.
6. I am disgusted by things sticking to my skin. I rarely ever go barefoot normally because I hate feeling things stick to my feet. So I was constantly checking my feet and rubbing them clean on the hem of my dress.
It was a great experience for me. I feel empowered by it. It made me think about the access and privilege that I have. If you know me, you know that I have a pair of shoes in pretty much every shade, and I am always matching my outfits with my footwear. Do I feel guilty that I have this many shoes? To be honest, I don’t. I did not choose to be born into the family I am in so I cannot feel guilty about my lot in life and the opportunities that have been put in front of me. And I worked hard to have money to be able to afford many pretty things. I don’t think we should feel guilty about where we came from and what we have. But just because I do not feel guilt, doesn’t mean I didn’t learn something that I can change to help reach out.
I am humbled by this experience. It made me think about what I have and appreciate that I can take care of myself. Yep, I do have privilege. I am able to afford shoes that help with my bad arches and support my bad knees. I have shoes that aren’t of convenience or comfort, but that make me happy inside. I am able to wear shoes that give me the pass to participate in school and social events. Even within this one fine day, I was able to have the freedom to wear shoes as I needed. Something to think about there.
It makes you take in what you have and appreciate it, but also realize that with your privilege you should pass it on. A pay it forward message so to speak. I have made some promises to myself to do things that will help in the cause whether that is donation or education.We all have a contribution to make, but we have to decide that for ourselves with what is within our means and abilities.
Do I think that I can change the world? Eh, maybe not.
Do I think that I completely understand these situations because I went part of a day without shoes? Well no.
But I am doing my best to change myself to be a better human being who is appreciative of the life I have and try to give back wherever and whenever I can. You just have to put your best foot forward everyday.
Here are some of my staff members and I going shoeless at the desk!
With that what can you do to make a simple step towards bettering either your life or someone else?
I don’t have a craft today. Eeeek I know! I have been working on a few things, and I really wanted to write this before I could complete anything.
So in a craft’s place I have a website that was shared with me for crocheting projects. I spent hours on it earlier today just perusing different patterns and making a wishlist of projects. And you can find a lot of free patterns!
I am excited to start some new projects, but I have two in the works right now that I need to finish first. So I will just make a long list in the meantime.