By Megan Wirts
Someone posted a question on Facebook a while back asking what advice you would give your 17-year-old self in four words. Mine advice was, “Always wear comfortable shoes.” It was the first thought that came to me. When I was younger I made terrible and uncomfortable shoe choices. I may have looked really good in those super high platform shoes or those pointy toed stiletto heels, but holy crap did my feet feel like I had bound them and stabbed them with...
...shards of glass by the end of the night. Whose toes actually go to a point like that? Seriously. My feet always hurt.
At the end of a night out with my girls I would lament over my painful and blistered feet and I would vow to wear flats or orthopedic shoes the next time. When you are only 5’1” though, high heels are a short girl’s BFF. They make you feel taller and sexy and your calves look fantastic, but I would always end up feeling miserable by the night’s end. Had I worn comfortable shoes I probably would have had more fun. I probably would have danced more, laughed more, been more daring, and said yes to more adventures. Who really knows, but what I do know is that my feet hurt and the pain was only worth it 3 or 4 times, tops.
There are so many four word phrases that I would love to tell the younger version of myself.
It’s Not the End.
They Were Using You.
Their Opinion’s Don’t Matter.
Be Happy, Be Kind.
Don’t Be So Afraid.
And Bring a Jacket!
You Will Get Cold!
For Real, Very Cold!
Perhaps if I had been wearing comfortable shoes I wouldn’t have been so afraid to dance like a toddler at a wedding reception. You know the way they dance not caring about how they look and just feeling the music and dancing as joyfully as possible. Never a wince as they move because their black boots are not digging into the back of their heels.
Maybe I would have run through the sprinklers in the middle of the night at that golf course we weren’t supposed to be at, instead of just sitting there watching everyone else. I might have climbed to the top of that waterfall and jumped and felt the rush of the cold water splash all around, but I had a blister on my heel and my legs were tired. Instead of sitting in the diner at the amusement park and pigging out on fried foods and ice cream I would have ridden all those roller coasters, but my shoes were uncomfortable, my toes were throbbing and I wanted to just sit down. Ok, maybe that last one was because I really like ice cream, but my feet did hurt!
I used the “my feet hurt” excuse many times and most of the time it was true, but I was also afraid. Afraid of more pain, embarrassment, or just the fear of the unknown. I sat on the sidelines of life for so long and I wish I could go back sometimes and put some comfy flat shoes on that scared little girl and tell her to join in.
I am trying really hard listen this advice at this point in my life. Especially now, when my health is less than perfect and I am forced to sit on the sidelines much more often that I would like. I want to participate in this life as much as possible and wearing comfortable shoes is the first step. My balance isn’t what it used to be anyway and I’m pretty sure if I tried to walk in 4 inch stilettos I would break my neck, so these days I am trying to stay a little closer to the ground.
If you can rock those babies and they are comfortable for you, then you wear the heck out of them though. I’m jealous, why do you think I suffered through wearing them for so many years. High heels are hot. Now, I have quite the collection of adorable flats in many colors and patterns. I might even throw on a kitten heel when I am feeling really spunky. My options are really quite endless.
I’m certain that 50-year-old Megan will have plenty of things she wishes 30-something-year-old Megan would have done or said or not done or not said. However, I am hoping that the future me will read this and think, “Thank goodness I started wearing comfortable shoes. But, seriously, when will you ever remember to bring a jacket!”
What four words do you have for your 17-year-old self?
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