Pumped up or flattened out – the head to foot link

For some reason whenever I buy new converse, I...

Today feeling flattened out and loving it. Zip Zang Zoom.

You may not think of this often, if at all, and especially if you are a guy, but I came to a realization just the other day. I was in the midst of standing in line at the checkout to buy my new boots. It came to me that the height of my heels I chose to wear was directly related to the job or activity for the day. Ever since I stopped working in the 9-5 work-o-drama, I’ve been flattened out, so to speak, and that is why I am buying boots with flat heels.

Women seem to have a unique relationship with their footwear. Do we start with the outfit or the shoes? Do we base these decisions on the weather, how happy, energized, or sexy we feel? Perhaps.

There seems to be a perceptible difference in my comfort level if the heel type does not match what I am doing in the day, like going in and out of the car, up stairs, carrying bags and stepping over puddles. It’s when you notice the type of shoes you are wearing that it becomes annoying. It’s just not practical and really slows you down. Maybe its related to how much outside weather I will encounter.

When sitting at a desk job, wearing high heels is easy and is the best thing. You don’t have to walk much, it snazzes up any outfit and I believe people view you with a bit more stature, both literally and figuratively speaking. I always wore heels when working at the office and when other women wore heels I looked at them a little differently.

If we sit on a café terrasse and watch passers by, we can start to draw-up stories of these anonymous porters of varying footwear. We imagine where they are coming from or going based on the shoe, yes, but also how it’s worn, with what ensemble and the pace of the walker.

Take the converse sneaker. Thanks to a friend, I own a pair. I zip along here and there, run errands and nary a thought to the shoe. I am focused and thinking about the time, the task and getting it done fast all the while planning dinner and a list of emails I have to send. I could just as well wear my hot leopard print Stuart Weizmann pumps. I love wearing them, but I move more carefully, surveying the terrain for any pitfalls or plain dirt. If I’m not checking my step, I am thinking about how great they look, who may be checking them out; and if there’s enough walking involved, maybe even how they may start to hurt. With all that going through my head, I can’t think of all the other things I have yet to do.

The idea starts to take form. When I’m feeling pumped up, I won’t have to deal with weather, I have time to enjoy myself, be relaxed or at the very least be sitting most of the time. If I’m feeling flattened out, I need to move a lot, quickly or bounce from inside to outside.

Many a time I’ve wanted to wear a certain outfit that requires a high heel to properly finish it off but I wasn’t feeling particularly pumped up. That’s not to say flats are not pretty and nice. I have those too. There is a difference in the footwear women choose to wear and it directly correlates to and affects their thoughts, what they may accomplish that day, how they carry themselves, how others view them.

It’s the thoughts being affected that are the most interesting one. Regardless of how others view us what is most important is how we are feeling inside and essentially where our head is. Our thoughts and feelings create our experience, lead us to choose between options and have a ripple effect not only in our own lives but also in all those that we touch. It is powerful. Yet it is sometimes difficult to get to know our true feelings and deep down thoughts about things with so many distractions around us both from external stimuli as well as our own shallow conscious thoughts. If I am thinking about my shoes, it takes up space of some more meaningful thoughts. This is not an absolute. I’m sure there are many women who wear platform high heels and other crazy pedestrial appendages and are quite in touch, successful and happy, but I don’t know. At the moment I’m absorbed in the meaning of my shoes.

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Living in little boxes

Cubes

Our boxes manifested.

 

 

Today I find myself here at my computer, writing. Finally. How long has this road been and is it just a step along my search to expressing my unique creativity and dreams? In thinking about this, I tried to trace what was it that had me toiling for decades in the 9 to 5 work-o-drama that is a corporate job. One job led to another, each one a successive rung higher on the proverbial ladder. My thoughts landed on the choices we make. Our choices in life are many, a multitude of options as vast as the universe. Each of these choices directs us down a certain path and we have absolutely no idea of where it will lead us. I considered the choices of my life; the direction of my studies, the people I choose to meet, the food I choose to eat, the activities I choose to do and every other choice right down to the routines I’ve set for myself. All that I have done has led me to this moment. I am present in the moment, quiet and still and yet I continue to make choices. What am I thinking of, am I hungry enough to get something to eat? The constant chatter does not allow my mind to be empty. With some practice or experience or perhaps wisdom of age, we all can learn to observe our thoughts, behaviours and ourselves. In youth, it seems we do not have this chatter of judgement and self-criticism. We just enjoy the moment, the joys of being and playing. Societal norms and expectations are imposed upon us, or rather we internalize them. To counteract and balance what is expected of us, we must ensure that personal empowerment, positivity and encouragement in our creative expressions are acknowledged. We collectively like to compare and judge and in the process we place higher value on certain activities. How impressed we may be when a child does a complex math problem or makes it on the science club. Do we have the same level of praise when they do an impromptu song or draw an interesting scene? These seemingly insignificant acts of expression build the foundations of future possibilities.

 

We are all creative by our very nature of being alive. Our bodies are in a state of constant creation with each cell renewal. We live in a natural world that creates and recreates itself all the time. Why is it then that we do not spend enough public discourse or value on our place in the world, our natural world? We are an extension of it. Our cities are not designed to coexist with nature. We remove ourselves from it. We cut ourselves off from this Life force and put ourselves into boxes. We are forever putting ourselves into boxes. Whether physically in homes or offices that literally are boxes to our societal norms that we must each fit into a neat category of who we are. Even with our inner life we may ignore or discount that little voice inside trying to get us to pay attention to our dreams. Instead of allowing it to develop, to explore where it takes us, we box up the thought for fear of ‘pick yours that apply’ and move it neatly to the back of our mind.

 

I have been rooting around in these boxes. They are not so solid and just by looking at them they disintegrate, as would something so old and fragile disintegrates just by touching it. As people search for happiness, they seek it in external goods, status and such. Some might opt for meditation. It is a matter of perspective and what you choose to see. Everything else is shrouded by fear and this fear wants to put things into boxes, neatly put it away, control things and convince itself it is happy. Eventually we glace back at the boxes and see that it is painful to deny our dreams. What we can do is start to observe where we are living. Not just the physical location but where we exist in mind, body and spirit and take a look at what boxes we have created for ourselves. While we have physical limitations, our creative ideas, thoughts and dreams are unbounded. The colloquial saying may be ‘think outside the box’. I’d rather say ‘forget the box entirely!’.