I knew from the very start that day was going to be a long day.
Well, because I’d managed to oversleep both alarms, waking up just in time to rush through my morning routine and still end up 20 minutes late for work. And I’d also committed to speaking at an event after work for a non-profit organization I was a part of.
The speaking portion of my commitment wasn’t necessarily the problem. I’d thoroughly prepared my speech, knew just the points in which I’d be able to get a chuckle out of the audience, and prepared myself for the moment when I’d bring them back down to earth and to the importance of why we were all there.
No, the speech wasn’t the issue.
Sitting at my desk and waiting to leave so I could go to the event was part of the problem. But mostly, my problem had to do with the fact that I’d picked up the wrong shoes in my rush to get out of the apartment at a semi-decent hour. That morning, I’d grabbed my outfit for the evening (a pair of dressy Capri pants, off-green cardi, white tank top and pearls), scooped up my work bag, twirled around trying to figure out what I was forgetting and right before I slammed my door, remembered – ahhh my shoes!
I ran to my shoe closet and picked up the first black pumps I saw, not realizing until I got to the office that I’d chosen the very shoes that I’d previously learned were not made for walking. As much as I loved these shoes – and I did love them – I’d also found out the hard way that a 5 ½ inch heel with no platform was just someone’s idea of torture.
The one time I’d attempted to wear the shoes before was to a formal event right after purchasing them and the entire time I had them on, I was scared for my life. It didn’t help that the floor of the event was marble. Mixing a slippery floor with the fact that I had no balance in my shoes was just not a good combination.
I was hoping that tonight would be different. But the longer it took for 6pm to come, the more time I had to daydream (day nightmare?) about tipping over and falling flat on my face while speaking. I know that sounds silly, but the way the shoes were constructed, I’d noticed there were definitely moments when I had to lean back so as not to tip over. Could you imagine watching someone speak and just fall forward?? The horror!
I was pure terrified of what was going to happen by the time 5:30 came around. And then, it got worse. I’d previously been extremely confidant in my speech, but my nightmares about the shoes had found a way into other parts of my brain and I was now concerned with everything else as well. What If no one chuckled during the part I expected them to laugh on? What if my crescendo moment didn’t play like I wanted it to? What if the only time people laughed was when I was tipping over and falling flat on my face???
I was a wreck. But somehow I pulled myself together, freshened up my sweaty armpits, made my way to the venue, slid on those hellish yet stylish shoes right before entering, and prayed my way through the event.
When they called my name to come up to the stage, I walked gingerly and hopefully with poise, smiling and praying and clutching my notebook that contained my speech. And miracle of all miracles, I not only made it through the speech without tipping over, I made it through the rest of the event as well.
But as soon as people began to pour out of the building, I kicked those puppies off quicker than Pattie LaBelle could ever dream to do in concert and breathed a sigh of relief. No tipping over happened this time, but I also had no intentions of putting that drill into very much practice. Those shoes would either be relegated to being “sky high” heels or heels I could wear when I knew I’d be sitting most of the time.
Lesson fully and completely learned.