The other day I found myself in a rather familiar position. I was fumbling in the dark on all fours in my dressing room. No - fortunately or unfortunately (depends on how dirty your mind is on a Thursday afternoon) I was not doing any sort of kinky doggy styling, I was stuck in what I like to call the Mordor of my closet. This is the very dark and ominous area where my non-heel shoes find themselves after I kick them off at the end of the day. That’s a lie. They usually find themselves strewn all over my apartment and end up here in Mordor after my saint of a helper (Is that the right word? I want to say maid but it sort of makes me sound like I live in the caste system. Which I don’t. And she’s fabulous.) has collected them and put them away.
There comes a time in every girls life where she must go through her wardrobe and discard what has not been brought out to play in the last year. That’s my policy anyway… it makes me feel less guilty when I continuously fill my shelves and hangers with the latest looks, knowing full well that I am sacrificing good responsible Rands. Rands that could go to a better gym membership, or a trip to the optometrist so I can finally cure my undiagnosed night blindness. Nope. These Rands are right where I like em… sitting on the shelf in my wardrobe. So I make myself feel better by dropping a massive bag of pretty things from the past off at a charity drop box every season.
Which brings me back to the floor of my dressing room and to Mordor. There are some shoes down here that I had completely forgotten about, some that I hadn’t worn once, some that I’d worn so much they were in tatters and some that screamed, “What was I thinking?!”. I pulled out a pair of luminous blue slip on sneakers with skulls on them. Immediately I’m transported to Covent Garden in London where I bought them after a day of walking and shopping that completely wore my meager Mr Price Pumps out. I almost put them back but then I remembered that I wasn’t a 19-year-old rocker anymore, or was I?
Next was a pair of Brogues that had sadly never come out to play. For those of you wondering wtf Brogues are – they are those smartish, manish looking flat shoes that cool indie girls wear. I thought I was cool and indie enough to wear them but it turns out, I ain’t. Every time I put them on I felt like a phony. They were easy to toss. Along with them went the “practical” work heels from Woolies that were uber comfortable but made me feel like a math’s tutor – in a non hot, I-wanna-be-taught-a-lesson teacher kinda way.
As I was going through each pair, I realized that each one had it’s own story to tell. The beige pair of kitten wedges I’d worn at my Mom's surprise wedding, the black pumps I’d worn on my first date with My Guy so I wouldn’t be too tall, the gumboots that had seen 2 Oppi Koppi’s and a Splashy Fen festival. With each pair that I placed in the black plastic bag of no return I took a glance back over my shoulder at the journey I had walked in them. Some steps easier to take than others and some roads more windy and wonderful than I could have imagined.
I slugged the heavy bag into my entrance hall where it would sit for weeks before it would get to the drop off box. Maybe it’s my nasty habit of procrastinating or maybe sometimes it’s hard to let go of things (useless or not) that have come along the way with you. This goes for shoes, hair colour and ex boyfriends.
Looking back, I realized that there are going to be some things I didn’t even give a chance, some that left me in pieces and some that still make me think “What was I thinking!?” but I guess that’s just part of figuring out who you really are so you can step into who you want to be… and who you want to be with. The great thing is that someday you’ll find a magnificent pair of shoes that fits you just right. They don’t leave blisters, they always look good and you feel like a billion bucks every time you put them on. And it makes clearing out the old ones, to make space, so much easier.