Soles are good for the soul

This guest post was written by Shira Solomon, a.k.a. my little sister. “Adina is my muse,” she said. “It’s totally true. Adina didn’t fabricate this on the spot.”

Yesterday, I was trying on several different styles of boots that I ordered online.

Boys, don’t divert your attention just yet. There’s some real content coming up, I promise.


Behold, the shoes in all their glory.

The process was pretty monotonous. Shoe after shoe. Black, gray, brown… nothing gave me excitement. From cowboy boots to thigh-highs, each piece of overpriced plastic gave me the same feeling: boredom.

Suddenly, as though the shoe gods were shining down on me, I lay my eyes upon them. The one beauty that stood out from them all. The moment I spotted the beaming light of breathtaking style, it was love at first sight. They were black faux-leather combat boots with laces all up the front and a buckle at the top. They were amazing. I didn’t just want them; I had to have them.

I tried on size seven and size 7.5, optimistic that I would find the perfect fit. No dice.

Finally, I came down to my last pair; size eight was up to bat. If these didn’t work out, that was it.

I squeezed into them as I stumbled to the mirror, knowing that I was going to love them on my feet. And I did.

They fit! They fit! I lied to myself as I grimaced in pain from the pinching the back of the shoe caused. I loved them so much that the pain seemed insignificant. They were wonderful.

I pranced around my room with nearly-blistered feet, adoring these new pairs of confidence that I just stepped into, ignoring that little voice in my head screaming TAKE THEM OFF! THEY’RE KILLING ME!

The longer I pranced, the louder the screaming got. Eventually, the voice progressed into shrieking, so I gave in. As the shoes released from my feet, I felt the cold winter air and sweet relief wash over my toes. I knew I had to return them. But I was so fond of them that there was no way I could do that.

Cut to me lying on the kitchen floor, staring at these lovely-yet-deadly boots, arguing with myself whether I should replace them with a bigger size or just grin and bear it. Finally, as much as it killed me, I decided that I’m better off – hold your tears – replacing them, even if it delays my shoe-flaunting for a few more days.

At last, with a deep, mournful sigh, I put the boots back in the shoebox, awaiting the day that I would return them.

This is where the life lesson comes in: Those shoes were so much more than just ill-fitting pleather on my feet. It represents what we face today.

We try to force ourselves to get comfortable in our position in life and pretend that we’re happy with who we are–whether it be working a dead-end job, living with an unhappy marriage, dealing with a dreadful teacher in our classroom, or any other situation that we get settled in just because we’re too lazy to try to improve it. It happened with African-American segregation, with the Holocaust, with terrible free-loading dictators throughout the years… you name it. All over history, people didn’t try to improve. They just sat there and let horrors ensue before their very eyes.

But we all have the authority to revolutionize things. As I did with my shoes, we can refuse to settle for mediocre. If we try hard enough and take an active role in our life rather than a passive one, things can look up for us. Do something. You can’t expect change to happen unless you make it happen. Only you can better yourself and your situation. You want something different? Make it different. You have the power to quit your job, undergo marriage counseling, consult with your teacher, and most of all… return those boots.

  1. not shira said:

    WOW, what a brilliant young mind! I’m jealous. I wish I was her.

    • Adina Solomon said:

      I think your wish already came true.

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