Breaking In New Shoes!

Posted on January 9, 2013

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We all know what that’s like.  You try the shoes on in the store and they feel really good.  So you buy them, take them home, maybe walk around in them for a bit and decide they are just perfect!  Then you get the crazy notion to wear them for an entire day and realize that perhaps they aren’t as comfortable as you thought, cause now they hurt like hell!

That’s how I’m feeling right now.  A little uncomfortable in what I’m deeming to be my new shoes!  It’s not painful by any means, but these new shoes don’t quite fit – yet!

This feeling keeps arising through my thoughts – some of which are easily recognizable as bullshit, and others that I’m not quite sure where they belong.  It’s like I’m wearing two different shoes trying to figure out if my thoughts are coming from the heart or the ego.  Sounds odd even saying that, but it’s where I currently stand.  I get a notion about something – like an action I might take, and it gives me pause because I don’t know if it’s “right” action or just my ego reacting in a more subtle way.  Taking a new approach in calmly chatting with me, while feeling like it’s at war for it’s very survival, ha-ha!

Are you familiar with the song “How It Feels to Fly” by Alicia Keys?  It’s on the album –The Element of Freedom.  It begins with a short intro that states “And the day came when the risk it took to remain tightly closed and a bud, was more painful than the risk it took to bloom – this is the element of freedom”.   Those words strike a major chord with me.  Actually there are a number of what appear to be “spiritually based” songs on this album, but How It Feels to Fly is a song I recently lived in for a while.  I do that with music sometimes!

Anyway, there are a few lines in the song, which basically describe my current state of mind.

  • Have you ever felt so strong that it made you feel weak?  Um, yes!
  • Have you ever been so sure, that it gave you cold feet?  Um, yes!
  • Have you ever felt so lost, but didn’t know till you were found – looking everywhere but you finally see now.  Ah, absolutely YES!

It’s such a beautiful song with a lot of meaning for me.

The album is a few years old, but I only heard it for the first time late last year (like 3 or 4 months ago)!  I got it from a friend because I had heard Empire State of Mind and really liked the song – there is a connection to New York City that I don’t yet understand, but it keeps calling me!  In this moment in time, I’m not in a position to up and move there, but I do believe the time will come.  It feels like it’s getting closer which is also part of my unsettledness – I keep asking how, why, when, and where, while saying okay, let’s get going then!  And, as if I needed more of those not so subtle signs, I’ve recently received emails from three people who started their greeting with either “where are you” or “are you still in Toronto?”

I happened to be traveling when the album was released a few years back, and I was very much out of touch with what was going on outside “my” world.  I was traveling with one of my most cherished possessions at the time – my iPod, which had a ton of music on it, so I had lots of great music to listen to.  And although I stayed in a few places where TV’s and radios were available, they weren’t English speaking stations, so I didn’t get in the habit of tuning in.  I really didn’t matter because I had lots of other things to do, and so many places to explore, that I never felt like I was missing out on anything.  In fact, I still don’t have a TV and I’ve been back in Toronto for a couple of years now.  I do have a radio with such poor reception, that I only use it as an alarm clock.  So I’m still very much out of touch with what’s going on outside “my” world!  I guess I’m still living as a traveler in some ways, even though Toronto is “home”.  I haven’t formed a new attachment nor have I settled in!

Just thinking about traveling makes me smile and remember that I’ve already worn many different shoes – and I had to get comfortable in all of them.  Quitting my well paid “day job” was like trading in a pair of combat boots for hush puppies – LOL!  It took a while to work up the courage to actually quit, but I woke up one morning and asked myself – “what the fuck are you waiting for” – my exact words at about 7 a.m. one beautiful morning long ago!  I handed in my resignation that day, and once I quit, I spent the next couple of years indulging in very self-centered endeavors like taking Pilates, Art and Spanish classes, and also running an art gallery out of my home – an undertaking so enjoyable that I don’t even remember wearing shoes, so to speak.  Well, at least from my perspective!  I do recall being a bit of a task master when it came to setting up the art before the show and I’d be lying if I didn’t say that my Sister and those friends that came by to help out probably felt like I was wearing shoes that were so tight, they made me a tad bit difficult!  Remnants of ether left over from the 9 to 5 world.

I think I could have continued to run that very unprofitable, but highly satisfying art gallery forever, but I got the itch to experience more so I sold my loft, then sold or gave away most of my worldly belongings, in order to travel.  That process was like wearing a pair of really high-heeled shoes (it took a while to sell the loft which had me doubting my decision), then trading them in for a really comfortable pair of running shoes.

Then I traveled freely for a few years by every mode of transportation – planes, trains, boats and buses!  And I met a lot of really amazing people, from all walks of life, along the way.  My comfort level on that journey had me wearing everything from flip-flops to the highest thinly spiked heels ever made – the kind that make you think, one false move and it’s off to the emergency room!  I actually went to Germany for a weekend to visit a family I’d met in Italy.  I did that because everywhere I traveled, I got so many invitations to be a guest in someone’s home, that I realized I’d be doing myself a disservice if I didn’t actually take someone up on their offer.  And I had to move way out of my comfort zone to get to that place where I was comfortable staying with people I didn’t really know.   Then I extended an invitation to that same family and they came and spent a weekend with me in my wonderful, funny little apartment in Paris.  After that it was easy to visit and stay with other people in Buckinghamshire, England and Henderson, Nevada – two very different worlds!

I didn’t have an itinerary either.  I just picked up and moved on or decided to settle into a place whenever the mood struck me.  I guess I could say that I also walked bare-footed at times – and what a wonderful feeling that was.

For the most part it was all really comfortable, but there were moments – like finding out that the bus you are traveling on is also carrying a fairly large group of just released prisoners on their way to a half-way house.  Or making a funny comment about the amount of sugar a man was using in his morning coffee, only to learn that he was using all that sugar because what he really needed was a fix!  He told me that in such a calm manner as if everybody experiences that every now and again!  I also met a woman whom I became very concerned about because she seemed very disoriented at times.  In talking with her I learned a bit of her story which included the fact that she’d been thrown out of a third story apartment building window!  In each instance, my shoes got a little uncomfortable because I’d been introduced to people whose lives were being lived in a manner so different from my own, but the discomfort didn’t last very long.  I overheard one of the prisoners saying he was more afraid of us – people on the outside, then we could ever be of him and that relaxed my mind.  The drug addict seemed to be happy and in control – regulated by his over-indulgence in sugar, and that slowed my heart back down, and the disoriented woman got off bus at the correct destination, which really set my mind at ease.

I really cannot say that I experienced any really negative moments throughout all my travels – I just wore different shoes at different moments in order to find a new balance to remain comfortable on my own.

I could go on and on about my travels, but in this moment I think I just needed to remind myself about where I’ve been and what I’ve done to get me to this new place in life.  There were moments of hesitation – contemplating change, before every major decision I’ve made.  Right now I know for certain that I’m going through a major change once again and this one feels both internally and externally focused – a very new awareness.

So I’m watching myself while learning to trust my footing regardless of the type of shoe I happen to be wearing.  I know things will become clearer over time and all will work itself out – and I’m getting comfortable not knowing what that really means.

I guess I’m allowing that bud to bloom in a much bigger way, and I’m so happy just noting how far I’ve walked, and how many new pairs of shoes I’ve worn to get here.

Much Love

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