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January 13, 2010

As I mentioned a couple of months ago, I’ve taken a part-time job at a local department store, working in the shoe department. Originally I was hired just for the holidays, but since I rocked their socks off, they’ve asked me to stay on. Also, the part-time person they did have quit the week I started (unrelated, I swear), so there was an opening.

I actually usually like going to work. It gets me out of the house a few days a week and gives me a chance to step away from thinking about my coaching practice and life coaching in general. Sort of.

See, it seems no matter where I am or what I’m doing, I’m finding some sort of life lesson, and being in the shoe department is no different. So what nugget of footwear-related wisdom shall I bestow upon you today?


I have noticed that people, women in particular, will do almost anything to fit into a pair of shoes. Or at least convince themselves they fit. If the only size we have left in a shoe they covet is too small, they say to us, to themselves, to their friends, “these will give a little, they’ve got stretch, I’m sure they’ll be fine”. If the size is too big they’ll reason, “I can wear thick socks with these for sure, or I could buy those inserts and put them in, that will make them work”.

Why do they do this? Sometimes it’s about a good deal. If the shoes are deeply discounted, they seem to think they must acquire the shoes, even if they don’t fit right. Most of the time, though, I think these ladies get the idea in their head that they really, really want these shoes, and that they’ll do anything to make it work. Which got me thinking…

How many times in my own life (you ask yourself this same question!) have I tried to make something “fit”, even if it was the wrong size? A job, a relationship, a friendship, a certain way of living? Probably too many times to count. I remember making excuses and rationalizations in my head for a long time in regards to a friendship I had when I was a kid. Okay, we were actually friends on and off from the time I was 8 until I was 22, so it was even longer than just childhood. She would blow me off for another set of friends, or a guy that she liked better on occasion, or she would get mad at me for spending time with my own boyfriend, and she would sulk if I didn’t put her first. I was aware of all of that, but I still somehow convinced myself she “fit”.

Of course I’ve done it when it comes to men. “If I just wear thick socks this relationship will fix itself.” And jobs, oh yes, I’ve spent plenty of time telling myself something worked when it clearly didn’t.

So back to my earlier question of why we do it. I think it’s about “wants”. In the case of shoes we want to have something that we think goes well with a certain outfit, or looks good on our feet. We want to be fashionable or chic or hip or hot. With life and poorly-fitting choices, I believe we want what we think we’re supposed to have. We want to be in the perfect relationship like we see on TV, we want to be fulfilled in the perfect job like we saw the other day on Oprah.

I think the problem with this is we convince ourselves to continue to do things that don’t feel good. The shoes cause blisters and chafing and ingrown toenails and us to fall down easily. The life decisions cause us emotional pain and suffering. I think the answer is to start following what truly feels like a good fit, instead of what we want to feel good.

You know when you find the perfect shoes they really, truly fit? They’re comfortable, they’re stylish, they make your butt look good? I think life decisions, especially major ones, should feel the same way. You’ll just know it’s right because it feels so damn good. And of course makes your butt look good.

Have a great day!

One Comment leave one →
  1. January 16, 2010 1:57 pm

    Ah, so true! I’m definitely one of those people who will do anything to try to make a shoe fit!!! Same with clothes… and then I always regret it! Speaking of which, I think I’m going to have to return my new running shoes… lol!

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