|The Red Boots - photo by Vicki Cane of Grace Photography|
When I was in the sixth grade, boots were big.
Especially cowboy boots.
I wanted a pair and at Christmas, I put in my request.
I got a pair of boots, but they weren't what I had envisioned.
And they never really fit quite right.
I eventually grew out of them and they went away.
I had other boots here and there - but never another pair of cowboy boots.
Then I moved to Idaho for school and also spent some time in Montana.
There were cowboys everywhere.
And boots were worn every day as a clothing staple.
They lost their appeal to me.
the movie Footloose came out.
Remember that movie - the original?
Kevin Bacon and Lori Singer?
And Ariel, the main female character, wore those red cowboy boots.
She wore them with everything -
And I fell in love with them.
Or maybe I just fell in love with her feisty attitude, which I never could master when I was young- but the boots seemed to be her trademark - and therefore, I associated those boots with feistiness.
Yes - they were cowboy boots.
But they were RED boots!
I still love boots.
But I am very practical with my boots.
Basic black and brown.
Nothing trendy or fancy -
And that works well.
I wear them to my day job almost every day during the colder months.
Late last summer, I was in the midst of dividing up assets and liabilities and preparing to be officially "single".
I felt...ok, I'll just say it...old.
I tried to appear and seem ok with the change I was in the middle of, but the reality was, I felt lost and scared and wondered how an almost fifty year old woman starts over?
Visions of the spinster aunt with her hair up in a bun sitting alone night after night started dominating my thoughts.
Then one day, I was looking online and I came across red cowboy boots.
My heart leaped and I got a little giddy.
I revisited the web site over and over and kept looking at them.
I had multiple arguments with myself -
These are not my style; these aren't practical; what if they don't fit; what would you wear them with; blah, blah, blah...
Then I found myself in October.
The month that final papers were to be signed and things would become "official".
I was going to be single.
No longer a "we".
I was starting over.
There were some tears.
And then there was a glimmer of hope.
And then there was ...
I started recognizing that although much of my life was exactly the same...
I still got up and went to my day job; I still had to grocery shop; I still had errands to run; I still had custom orders to fill and bills to pay and a dog to walk and laundry to wash...
There was a sense of wonder and excitement at a world full of opportunity that I had never allowed myself to experience before.
There were friends to reconnect with.
There were adventures to be planned.
This was only an "end" if that is what I chose it to be...
Instead - I chose to see it as a new beginning!
I needed to somehow commemorate this new chapter.
Something to symbolically congratulate myself for moving forward and not wallowing in self-pity.
To reward myself for facing each new challenge head on.
A trip? An adventure? A purchase?
I began a quest for the perfect symbolic gesture...
And then...on the sidebar when I was surfing the web...the picture of the red boots.
And I knew. Instantly.
That was it!
What else would mark this change better than something I had wanted since I was young?
Something that was just enough "out of character" for me to say..."things are new and different?"
So I bought the red boots.
They arrived on my doorstep on a day when I felt completely overwhelmed.
I opened the box and they were better than I had hoped.
I slipped them on and, not only did they fit perfectly - but I felt so proud in them.
I felt strong and empowered and ... anything but old!
The red boots have become a symbol to me of strength.
I find myself wearing them with anything and everything -
If I wake in the morning and feel a little cranky - I wear the boots.
If I know there are challenges ahead in my day - I wear the boots.
If I am going somewhere or trying something or doing something that is out of my comfort zone...
I wear the boots.
The red boots have gone to my day job, to hear live music, to meet new people, to sign my house over to new owners...
They have become a precious symbol of the power that exists in me . . .
The power that exists in each and every one of us.
Superheroes wear capes...
I wear the RED BOOTS!
And when I wear them - I know that I can!
What brings out the superhero in YOU?