I never really thought I’d miss waking up and being quickly shocked out of my stupor by the daunting act of getting my body from the comfort of my red jersey sheets (thank you, Target) to the floor, a good four and a half feet below me.
Or living in a small little square on the sixth floor of a building where the elevators always seemed to fall victim to the various waste of the weekend and culinary success was not burning popcorn in the microwave and choosing the café vanilla coffee for the Keurig every morning (or night. Thank you, exams.).
But I do.
And the best proof of its existence is sitting in boxes and suitcases that I’m wary to unpack because doing that solidifies the fact that I’ll never again fumble between two keys trying to find the one that opens the door to 632 and the one that opens to door to 632B so that I can throw my backpack in the floor and climb up four and a half feet into a bed a with extra-long twin size red jersey sheets.
But things like toothbrushes and sweatpants make unpacking sort of necessary, and if I want to leave the house, I really have to tackle the contents of two suitcases.
They’re full of shoes.
The ones that supported my feet from building to building for class, on the dance floor, in the gym, at football games, to interviews, and everywhere else. They’ve always been my favorite part of an outfit, and I don’t think I really understood why until I was forced to look at how many I’ve collected.
It nauseated me at first (and still kind of does). Because is it really necessary?
No. And I’m the first to admit that it’s not, not at all.
But when your life revolves around what your feet do and where they let you move, and it constantly revolves around putting yourself in other people’s shoes, seeing life from the perspective of others and then writing about it… well, my obsession with them becomes a little more understandable.
So, why exactly, will I miss the seemingly uncomfortable inconveniences of living in dorm 632? Because when I came back to rest, to kick off the bad boys shown below, I had been changed from experiences, and hopefully learned a great deal for the better.
Freshman Year in 10 parts, and how the right pair of shoes can change your life.
I was sporting these the day I did the last interview on my computer before it crashed and I had to get it fixed. It was in these that I learned how to be innovative (stop using garage band and get yourself a tape recorder already or what kind of reporter are you, Laura) and patient (instant gratification will probably be the downfall of my generation).
Mint wedges. They matched my graduation dress perfectly and came into my possession the spring of my senior year. I didn’t trip in them on my way to the stage to give my speech and get my diploma, but I did walking around campus. In which case I learned to not take myself so seriously (tripping is okay) and to save these for special occasions. Like Easter, the last time I wore them, where enjoying the presence of my fellow dance majors for dinner taught me that I have a family at UA.
Custom Nike Frees. I made these to have at school, thinking I’d wear them to class everyday. I may not have done just that (I haven’t quite succumbed to the comfort of gym shorts and a t-shirt for class every day), but I did enjoy the rec center in these every week. I learned the power of endorphins. Running really does make you happy, pinky promise.
My best friend gave me these for my nineteenth birthday, and chunky purple heels complete more outfits than you’d ever imagine. These made an appearance at the Dance Alabama! banquet. I received an award for “Triple Threat Trio” with two of my beautiful roommates as well as the opportunity to be on the board next year. Believing in yourself takes you places.
Simple black heels are delicious. And they make me look very 1980s. These appeared at a variety of functions, and reminded me that sometimes the answer is found in simplicity.
I got lost, broke these, then watched Savion Glover tap for free. You may think it’s the end of the world (it’s not really the end of the world).
I wore these to my senior homecoming. And felt they should make an appearance in Tuscaloosa. Which they did, the night that I met my big in the Theatre Honors Society, Alpha Psi Omega. I don’t act. Or sing. But these people support whatever you do, and it’s through being a part of this group that I’ve learned just how important it is to appreciate self-expression.
Blue suede shoes are important. And you don’t need a boy to make dressing up on Valentine’s Day a really fun event.
Crimson heels are more than necessary when you go to the University of Alabama. But you should probably reserve them for events that don’t require walking. However, when you don’t, and you end up walking about four miles with an extra six inches to your height, you learn that you can do anything you put your mind to. Mind > matter, really.
Combat boots. Worn to countless classes with a pair of leggings and a t-shirt or sweater and a denim shirt tied around my waist. Worn to hip-hop class. Worn as a reminder that when you pursue what you love, you’ve got to have tough skin. Not everyone will love everything you do, but the ones who do are worth traveling the mountainous terrain.