One day in elementary school during writing, our journal prompt was something like "Pretend you are your favorite pair of shoes. What would you say, feel, etc.?" This went with a project in art where we sketched one of our shoes. Talk about cross-curricular connections, am I right??
I'm a girl who loves shoes. Blah-stereotypical-blah. I get attached to shoes because of the memories I have related to them (sensing the sentimentality theme again? I am!). I wouldn't necessarily blame this on that elementary teacher but I think it reinforced and made me consciously think about memories connected to objects. I got my first pair of Adidas superstars while at Disney and I broke them in there, got plenty of blisters and pinched toes, and now wear them at least once a week. My second pair is from the kids' section because I've always wanted a pair of sparkly superstars and I'm an adult now who can buy her own shoes. The most recent pair were also worn at Disney under the assumption that they would be water-resistant on a cooler rainy day. Water-resistant- yes. Waterproof? No. They absolutely flooded and acted like a bucket because the puddles were so deep and the sole so resistant that the water didn't drain.
My converse have many stories to tell as well. I was a high schooler during prime Disneybound time (iykyk) and I could not get enough colors of Converse. The first ones were pink and I wore them on a hike in Hawaii to a waterfall, traversing rivers and muddy hills to get there. After we left, they were quite literally unrecognizable as the hot pink they initially were. Along the way I collected yellow ones, red ones I borrowed (read: took) from Emily, gray ones with pink details, black high tops, mint green and royal blue shoes, and maroon ones. I still have the last four pairs. Again, as an adult who had always dreamed of specific shoes, I bought myself 3 more pairs of high tops- light pink gradient, sunflowers on offwhite canvas, and white ones.
Shoes are one of the easiest ways I've found that can affect how I feel through my day. If I wake up feeling tired with a migraine, I will absolutely put on the comfiest shoes I have so that I never have to worry about my feet also hurting. A pair of heeled boots give me a little extra confidence on a day when I need it and it doesn't hurt when they get attached to a memory of a good interview, a fun event, or just a joyful day.
When you are constantly moderating and masking what you present to the public, clothing can become a tool that helps or hinders. I choose to look at it for what it is- a part of my mask that I can easily change to support me getting through the day. My closet is full of different colors, styles, and materials because I never know what will feel right. I'm not a maximalist but I sure am not a minimalist and I don't think I ever will be.