Friends · just write life · reflections · writing

Lessons Learned from Red Shoes

My friend Kim (aka The Well Dressed Writer) loves red shoes. She says they’re sassy and classy and can elevate an outfit from boring to brilliant.

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Kim loves bows. And red.

She’s right.

I like comfortable shoes. Clogs. Crocs. Converse. These go-with-everything clearance finds that slip on easy when I’m headed out the door for the elementary school drop-off.

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Y’all. I’m all about the easy.

But sometimes, sometimes, it’s good to be all about the brilliant. Good to find a new place to connect–even if it’s over something as simple as shoes. When I wore these fun (but so-not-me) plaid heels of Kim’s at the Ohio Christian Writers Conference last weekend, they sparked conversations and broke down barriers.

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One pair of sassy red shoes. All it took. Because suddenly, I wasn’t just a writer talking about her book. I was a writer wearing cute shoes and others–even the men–made commenting on my shoes a thing.

And I made it through the whole day in the highest heels I’ve ever worn. I’m not going to lie. My feet hurt at the end of it. But isn’t that the way of life? Don’t we sometimes let ourselves hurt and sacrifice just a little so we can pour into others?

Obviously this is about more than red shoes. 

I can get pretty obstinate at times about wanting to do things MY way. MY plan. MY goal. MY expectation. But sometimes, when I let myself be given a piece of advice and then I take it (i.e. these shoes will look better), I find myself experiencing a whole new world. One where I can suddenly connect with a woman I wouldn’t have known how to approach. One where I can praise my friend for her fancy and frugal eye. One where I can wear a pair of shoes that caused me fear–what if I trip? What if everyone can tell I don’t usually dress this way?

What if everyone still sees me as just that mom scribbling words in her yoga pants and praying they get read?

Or… what if I wear these shoes and I feel smart and confident and well-dressed? What if all that spills over and out as I talk about my book and my writing journey and motherhood and the chaos of everyday life that makes a non-ordinary day with it’s non-ordinary shoes so very, very special.

Get yourself some red shoes, friend. Or your equivalent. Do something outside your norm and embrace the doors that open, welcoming you inside.

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Sweet shoe buddy. Apparently red plaid is a thing I didn’t know about.

I adore this book. It is wonderfully written and tells the story beautifully.

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