So, about 2 weeks ago I was meandering around Seville when I saw them. The most wonderful, fabulous, glittery boots I had ever seen. It was love at first sight. Unfortunately, my monetary means didn’t match my love for the best boots in the world, so I vowed to return when I had the funds to liberate the boots from the boring confinement of the shop, and to explore the world with them.
That day was Wednesday. Straight after work, I skipped along the yellow brick road, all the way to the shop (it’s called Fosco if anyone’s interested) and bought the boots my heart had been hankering after for 2 long weeks! They were everything I’d hoped they’d be; comfy, awesome and glittery.
The next day I proudly wore them to work and not so subtly brought them up in every conversation.It went a bit like this:
“Hi Jade. How are you?”
“Good. I have new boots! LOOK!!!”
I’m so smooth and subtle.
But one thing I’d hadn’t banked on was what they would do to my walk, in and to turn to how I feel and act.
You see, I have a problem with my feet where they go in on the inner part of the foot much more than they should. This has a knock on affect on my knees and hips, and I think causes my hips to be kind of closed. I do sometimes wear insoles but for the past 5 years or so I’ve spent my time convincing myself it’s not a problem.
This also affects the way I walk. I’ve been (rightly) accused of shuffling (thanks mum), and don’t really lift my feet up when I walk, giving me a childish, shuffly gait. Lovely.
But, with my new rootin’, tootin’ boots I walk like a WOMAN! I didn’t realise it at first, but then I caught sight of myself strutting my stuff around Seville, and thought “¡Olé! I’m totes walking like a woman and not a stroppy toddler!” I feel taller (well, that’s partly because of the heel), more confident and strangely enough, more present in my life.
I didn’t realise that such a simple, materialistic thing could make such a difference to how I feel about myself. Not because of the ‘new stuff rush’ one gets, or because they’ve momentarily sedated the burning pain of believing I’m a separate person, but because they’ve changed the way I move. The way I walk. And in turn, the way I feel.
They quite literally don’t allow me to shuffle. I try to slide shuffle and it just doesn’t work. In fact, it almost makes me fall over. But not shuffling and walking properly makes a massive difference to how I experience the world. I feel like an adult. You know, the kind of adult who would complain if their food was crap and send it back, rather than hide their head in shame when their mum does it.
You see, I’m 23. And whilst I’m not ‘old-old’, I’m definitely starting to knock on the door of adulthood. Quite a few people that I went to school with have children. My friends are starting to move in with their boyfriends. My students are generally younger than me (when I started teaching I was often the youngest person in the class. My students used to amazed that I was only 21 AND spoke such good English!). But I still feel like I’m about 16/17. So it’s definitely time to start toying with dressing, acting and walking like an adult.
I think we can often overlook very simple, and basic solutions to problems. I’m not saying that fabulous boots are the key to happiness and Enlightenment, but having good, basic items in your life definitely helps.
I’ve done tonnes of work on this whole growing up malarky. Hours of delving into what keeps me young, ranging from one off events at school to my relationship with my dad to karmic conditioning, and have always been reluctant/unable to adult up. And then, low and behold, these boots strut into my life and have pushed me into woman-ness.
Sometimes I think we overanalyse, and overspiritualise our lives. Like say if you have massive boobs. I mean massive to the point where they start to hurt your back and mess up your posture. You could spend years trying to come to peace with your big boobs, trying to see that they are not you they are just your body, or asking yourself why they annoy you. Or, you could get an industrial bra that supports them, or get them reduced. I’m not saying that every problem can be solved by plastic surgery, but sometimes it’s gotta help, and sometimes very physical solutions to problems work just as well as ‘deep’, spiritual ones.
Or, sometimes I notice myself being all moody and nihilistic, my normal way of handling this would be to take my ridiculous ramblings super seriously and conclude that the world is stupid. Or I could get a beer with a friend, have some tapas, have a laugh and remember that life is actually pretty fun and that the world isn’t such a bad place.
One thing I’ve noticed in Seville is that the people are very well-to-do and a bit conservative. In Spain, the sevillanos have a reputation of being ‘pijos’ and ‘chulos’, or ‘posh’ and ‘cocky’. And it’s kind of true. Men bop around with sideburns, light blue shirts and jumpers casually draped around their shoulders in an ‘anyone for tennis?’ kinda way. The women are nearly always immaculately put together, are rarely out of heels and always wear nicely cut clothes. And the children! You have not seen well dressed children until you’ve been to Seville on a Sunday. Little girls with cute dresses, nice shoes and colour coordinated bows in their well conditioned hair, whilst the boys look like little gentlemen in shirts, shoes and hair with a side parting.
But the thing is, for the most part, they seem happy. You see grandparents, their children and the grandkids sitting in a square all having a laugh. People don’t look rushed. The kids look happy. They are seriously unyogic; bullfighting’s still quite popular, a lot of people smoke and drink and football is as much a religion as Catholicism. But, they (or so I think) are happy.
So the point I’d like to make, asides from announcing my new boots to the internet, is that sometimes it’s the super simple things that can make a difference. Sometimes going out, flirting and dancing your arse off is more effective than a workshop on movement. Sometimes a beer and a relaxing chat with a friend is better than a session with a therapist. Sometimes we don’t have to travel miles to find a community, we can hang out with friends. And sometimes a new pair of boots can turn you into a woman.
My boots and I wish you all a happy Sunday,