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Can Shopping for Shoes make you CRY?

Well, it did me . . . and here’s why!

 So many women, and men for that matter, finding shoes is a fun and cool thing.  Take Carrie Bradshaw for instance, the iconic Sex in the City fashionista.  She had a closet full of high fashion shoes only a woman with very strong ankles could wear every day in New York City.

Do you ever wonder how you would feel if you could no longer wear regular shoes?  It’s one of those mundane things we never think about until your choice is gone forever.

I never thought about it either.  I am not particularly vain, and I don’t wear makeup. I consider my fashion sense bohemian chic; I must be comfortable.  When living in New York City and walking all day long, I mostly tend towards wearing sneakers.  That being said, I did have some kick-ass shoes and boots for those certain occasions. I loved wearing my cute wedges and black leather high boots.

When I wanted to wear cute shoes, I simply did.  Until my accident.

After I was crushed by a bus, my daily reality certainly changed, which caused me to have to rebuild many things in life.  I am now visibly deformed.  I’m finally at peace with what happened and love and appreciate my new leg.  However, I did not realize it would be so hard to give away all my shoes.

It became quite apparent in the months and years after the accident that due to my structural damage I could not wear any of my fun, cool and cute shoes.  Silly I know, but this was one of the biggest losses of my accident.

It wasn’t so much the loss of the shoes themselves but the choice.  I no longer had a choice of what I could wear on my feet.

I found myself obsessed and even envious of women in cute shoes, heels, or boots. I felt incomplete.

Since my 2009 accident, I have searched New York City and the internet for cute shoes for women that have mobility or joint issues.  This came up again recently.  I have an upcoming red-carpet event in Ohio and found a great new dress.  I went to a local shoe shop here in NYC that specializes in comfort shoes. “I must be able to find something here,”

I thought.  No luck!  I did try on 5 pairs of shoes, they all hurt and made me feel unstable to walk safely.  I was literally in tears when I walked out of the store.  Let the crying begin.  

That moment got me thinking about the power of choice.

I had never thought I would miss wearing regular shoes.  The issue is less about the shoes and more about the new obstacles and how to transform the situation. 

I was admittedly mad and sad and frustrated when I left the store.  It was a rare moment when I was angry about my circumstance and missed my old life.  I gave myself space and grace to feel the feelings and let them pass.  For the most part, I have adapted to rocking my sneakers with everything, mostly because I must.

Then I went into solution mode.  I do have a pair of shoes I can wear for a short span of time.  The Ohio event is indeed covered.

The ongoing challenge is to completely accept and love me as I am, deformed and all.  While I no longer have the choice to buy any pair of shoes that are cool, fun, and cute. I do have permission to remind myself that I have the choice to make the absolute most of what I am able to do RIGHT NOW.

Just because I have a severe deformity does not mean I am not attractive or can’t be my own brand of fashionista.  I am not ‘disabled.’  I am perfectly able, however have a few physical challenges in which I need to modify certain parts of my life now and then.

My shoe shopping experience, while initially painful, reminded me to stay forward focused.  Truth be told this is my reality. I can’t go back to how it was before my accident.

Moving ahead is how I can choose to rock it with pure confidence and ease.

For my lady friends facing physical obstacles I want you to know I completely understand.  It can be a total bummer and that’s totally O.K.  You are perfect as you are, scars and all.  Let’s make our limitations the springboard for our total happiness and success and yes even love.

Let’s affirm that we are perfect with the ability to make the most of the choices we have ahead.   You are Winning!!!

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