It's funny how a pair of shoes – yes, shoes – can bring back to mind a whole chapter of your life and urge you to write on a topic that has to do more about life and less about shoes or fashion.
Things occur for a reason. Some of these things can change our lives.
Think of all the decisions you have made that brought you where you are today.
That's because you acted upon certain events and circumstances.
But what about all those things you did nothing about? You might not have any regrets (and that's healthy) but what if those things could have been your route to more happiness and better balance?
The reasons for not acting are plenty such as lack of self-esteem or will power, fear of the unknown, being too busy, being too in love with the wrong person etc.
I'll get to the "shoes" in a moment…
Sometimes happiness knocks on our door. If we are lucky enough, happiness will come back and knock for a second time. If we are that lucky.
But for some reason, we don't act upon that feeling of immense happiness and we therefore send people away or we take them for granted (until they eventually forget we exist) or we don't pursue something (hobby, job, travel etc) that we desire wholeheartedly. We continue working and living on a busy schedule or a mediocre relationship or keeping up appearances because we are afraid to call the shots, take risks, ride the panther, make a phone call, book a trip to Florence and so forth.
We had our chance.
But we left the door shut.
Happens to everybody…
The Shoe Story
Before I went freelance, I was working in an office in Milan. During lunch, I used to go to a Centro Commerciale (Mall) to buy food, do window shopping, sometimes buy clothes and so forth. One of my favourite shops was Zara.
One day there they were. A pair of spectacular green shoes that I fell in love with. You can see why if you look at the picture above.
Even though I knew that the moment I find shoes available in size 41, I had to grab them, all I did was leave them there.
I went back the next day and saw them again. Still there. Instead of trying the shoes on, I went to try on some clothes I didn't need. Strange, right?
Next day, same thing. I went back to admire the shoes and I finally tried them on. Perfect! Sexy!
But I put them back on the shelf.
And naturally, next time I went into the shop, the shoes – size 41 – were no longer there. Another girl took them. Gone into some other girl's closet.
How could I be so stupid? I had a good salary. I wasn't freelancing. Those green shoes could have been in my closet now.
Maybe I didn't really want them?
Sticking to Black
So no green shoes for me. Just black shoes. And a few brown ones. Black goes with everything. They give security.
It's okay to want to certain things in life that give you some sort of security. A job, a home, a steady income. But, when it comes to the not-so-essential things, to the ephemeral, to things that can turn a gloomy day into a bright one, why refuse life's invitation?
Why not a yellow skirt? Combine it with black!
Why not a bag with a fabric you hand painted yourself?
Why not talking to that lonely girl who's sitting across the table at the coffee shop?
Why not calling that guy you really like and are so afraid to let him know?
Why stick to black?
Do something different
If you don't try new things, you will never know. You are going to be stuck in boredom.
Sometimes you need to take a risk. Not a huge risk. I'm not saying you should give up your boring job (it's your call) or invest in hedge funds.
All I'm saying is that when opportunity knocks, do not do not ignore what your instinct is telling you.
Listen to your inner voice. If it's right there in front of you go for it. If something so beautiful has come your way, embrace the opportunity and say yes.
The balance within
If you encounter "green shoes" don't just stand there with that fearful gaze. Take the green shoes. Wear the green shoes. Be the queen of nature. Yes, even while you walk your kids to school.
You need the green shoes because life has so many twists and turns and ups and downs that along the way and, as you grow older, you will become more appreciative of the little details. And you will be going back in the past to dig out the things you didn't do.
The balance in life starts from the little choices we make every day.