I rarely post quotes in a different language (Latin). Nor do I post state mottos as a general rule (North Carolina). But as I was driving around with my husband yesterday on my last full day of summer break, I was inspired by this quote.
Esse quam videri.
To be, rather than seem to be.
If we held to it, this would be a pretty outstanding life motto.
The inspiration came in the form of a negative. We were driving through what amounted to an office park when I noticed a woman walking through a grassy median on stiletto heels. Stiletto heels on grass.
She looked incredibly uncomfortable and wobbled as she walked.
My question is and was, why? Why do we women take something as foundational as shoes (and they are what we stand on all day) and, instead of making them work for us, we allow them to cause us pain?
Now before you scoff, you know we’ve all done it.
In April, I went to visit my son in NYC. We walked 39.1 miles over the course of three days. I did it in shoes that looked super cute but were totally and completely inappropriate for that much walking. I am not exaggerating when I say it took well over a month for my feet to completely heal and lost two toenails in the aftermath.
We do things, sometimes to SEEM rather than to BE. Maybe we wear heels to appear taller than we are. Maybe they make us feel sexy. Perhaps we gain confidence.
But they physically hurt us. They bring pain. We can’t wait to take them off. Don’t believe me? Go to a wedding and count how many women have taken off their shoes to dance.
It’s not just shoes. It’s the facades we wear when we are in relationships. It’s being something we are not to please those around us. It’s trying to decipher what others are looking so we can give them what they want. Seeming rather than being.
Like wearing uncomfortable shoes, it is painful and usually women putting themselves through those particular motions. Guys, typically, don’t do it. Maybe they don’t have to. Maybe they don’t want to. Maybe they just don’t.
Today, trade in those stilettos for a pair of shoes that don’t confine and that don’t cause pain. Maybe sneakers. Maybe flip flops. Maybe you just throw caution to the wind and let your bare, exposed, naked feet take you where you want to go today. It’s up to you. But for the love of all that’s holy, don’t strap the thing that holds you up into something that hurts to stay in.