I feel so silly sharing this... but a pair of boots taught me a really important lesson recently and I feel like I need to write it down, lest I forget in the future.
Over a year ago I received an email from my favorite brand, Free People, waring me of the big sale that was happening on their website. An extra 30% off of already reduced sale prices. You can imagine how fast my mouse zipped it's way over to click on the 'shop now' button.
While rummaging through page after page of glorious ruffles and seemingly still-overpriced tiny pieces of beautifully printed fabric they called dresses, I came across something that made my heart pitter-patter faster and faster to each inch of rustic leather goodness. I had been eyeing them for years: a pair of laced up, solid leather, knee-high Frye boots... in. my. size. How much, how much, how much!? My mind was too excited to do the math correctly so I added them to my cart, already feeling guilty of what I knew was about to happen.
They were on sale for about 1/3 of the regular price, leaving them at just over $100, regularly close to $400.
I couldn't let this go. I never spend that much on myself but I ordered them and immediately jumped around the couch with glee. (Yes, fantastically priced Frye boots really do make me leap with joy. Put your judgey eyes back in the case.)
They arrived a week later and I could smell the glorious leather before I even opened the box. They fit perfectly and were a beautiful and smoothly stiff, slightly orange-y cognac color. They were a dream.
Fast forward to over a year later... they sat in my closet, in their original packaging, collecting dust and adding color to my closet. I had never worn them. I couldn't! They were just too beautiful to see the nasties of the world. What if I stepped in gum? What if they got dirty? What if a little kid's ice cream cone toppled over onto them? They were too nice to serve their purpose and the whole reason I ordered them: to wear.
These boots were worth so much to me. I hadn't paid nearly what they originally cost, and yet I treated them like they were made of gold, hiding them away for no one but my eyes, and occasionally Matt's questioning eyes to see. "You still haven't worn those yet? What are you waiting on, the Queen to come have tea with you?" "Maybe!" I'd seemingly always reply, but I didn't have an answer for the same question I always asked myself, other than these had cost a pretty penny and I didn't want to ruin them with a world of puddles and sticky stuff on the floor of our outdated Bi-Lo. I was scared to proudly take my dream into the world because of what may, or may never, happen.
Last week I saw these beauties sitting in my closet, dressing up a sea of creams, grays and whites. I wondered how long I had them and when I realized it had officially been over a year. I wanted to scream at myself! What good were these SHOES doing SITTING in my closet and not on my FEET? I knew I was being ridiculous, so I created an outfit just for them and wore them, hesitantly of course, out into the real world. And do you know what happened? Well I tripped walking down my stairs but other than that- NOTHING. Oh and other than people stopping me to compliment them and I side-stepped a puddle at the last second. Nothing ELSE.
I realized, this is how I, and many other people I'm sure, act about our dreams. We sit them on a shelf in the back of our mind to dress it up. They add color to our worlds and we tell only our closest family and friends about them. We keep them locked away because we are scared to take the leap of faith that's needed to really grow our minds, our souls and our hearts. How much happier would you be if you really 'went for it' for that promotion? Or if you quit your desk job to open up that cupcake shop you always dreamed of? Just thinking about it makes your heart do backflips, right? That's your dream! And until you go for it, you're foolishly letting it wither away, collecting dust and drifting further out of your mind, becoming buried by clean but yet-to-be-hung-up of piles of facts and actualities. I can't. I have a family that needs me to stay with this secure 9-5pm. I'm too old. I'm too young. I'm too this or that or whatever.
Just DO something! But Kayla, what if I step in gum? What if someone on the subway licks them? What if a raccoon pees on them, or world war III ensues and I am forced to use the laces as a tourniquet to save a wounded pastry baker's right arm? The truth is, we can come up with endless ridiculous excuses of why our dreams will remain in their original packaging, or we can take the risk to be happier than we ever dreamed. Bear with me- what if none of those things happen, and you end up walking into the best damn thing that could ever happen to you... your purpose. Your laced up, knee-high, complimentary-worthy, solid leather, zip-sided, double-stitched, heavenly smelling purpose.
The first step is always, always, the scariest, but you know what's scarier? Not really living the life you were always destined to.
So put on your dreams, lace them all the way up, and walk out into the big world with the confidence of a sorority girl, in a new skirt, on a Saturday night, after a winning football game. Compliments and admiration are sure to follow.
Because those boots were made for jumping up and down in joy at the success of your very own dream. Get to walkin'.