The first day of 7th grade I wore a pink knitted top, stretchy jeans, and the most perfect pair of bubble gum pink pointy toe flats ever.
I loved those shoes. The whole outfit was based on the shoes. Those shoes made me feel special. And that morning as I walked out the door to catch the bus, I felt pretty darn cute for the first day of junior high...all because of my shoes. (See? The love affair/obsession started early...)
But then I got on the bus. And the teasing started almost immediately. The 9th graders who started snickering didn't even know me, but apparently, the fact that they were all in Keds and casual tops was enough to make me their morning entertainment. I did my best to hide my shoes under bus seats and desks for the rest of the day.
I never wore the pink shoes to school again, (although, truthfully, that didn't solve a thing, since those girls just found other things to harass me about), but I wore them so often everywhere else that by the time I got rid of them, the pointy toes were scuffed and peeling.
Fast forward 23 years.
I find these:
A few shades darker and a tad more pointy, but the minute I put them on in the store, I was that teenager again. The memories of that first day made me chuckle a bit and mentally sigh in relief: Thank God I didn't turn out the way I was as a kid...insecure, intimidated, and easily influenced.
Somewhere along my 30's I started to really fit in within my own skin. Some of it came with age and experience, some of it came from the sweat (literally) and tears (also, sometimes literally) of running, biking, and doing things that scared me to death, but some of it came with motherhood: I was so worried about losing Me when I became Mama that I ended up finding myself along the way. I found time to do things that challenged me, that made me stronger, braver, better, that made me proud to be who I am...and that person is not "just a mom."
Now, if I were to get on a bus filled with girls who are dressed totally differently, I'd sigh in relief, jump right on, and maybe even prop my pink pointy toe flats up on the seat in front of me.