Saturday, February 14, 2015

how to be cool in The Good Shepherd school



Finally, inspired to write! This one is about more than shoes, so don't get scared away..

So I have this thing with shoes. I have always been this way.  I had really cool brown platform school shoes in 5th grade. We were only allowed to wear navy blue or black shoes to school, but that year I wore brown and the teacher did not care.

We wore a grey blue plaid uniform at Good Shepherd, which, as you can imagine did not thrill me, so having a great shoe that I felt good in made all the difference. Accessorize!

Then sixth grade came. It was the most terrible time in the world for me. I did not know it yet, but my parents were on the verge of splitting up and I, of course, must have felt it. Plus I was in the throws of adolescence, which is rough to begin with, and hideous when there is a history of sexual abuse.

All of that may sound bad, but the very worst thing of all was that I had terrible school shoes. My best bestie had these cool black lace up platforms and I tired like hell to find another pair, but her magical shoes were one of a kind, somehow, nowhere to be found. My father took me searching high and low to no avail. Instead I bought a pair of cheap ugly substitutes. They had a lame platform and on the bottom of the shoe, on the sole, was the word “BANG” in relief. This could have been a great detail, depending on how you looked at it, but to me it was miserable and shameful, evidence of the cheapness of my uncool garbagey ugly shoes.

I am cracking up as I write that line, but at the time this shit was real. That is where I channeled all the pain. To add to my misery, I had gotten a bad haircut. I was in the throws of self hatred. Now I write in deep compassion.  Poor kid, with no one to turn to and so much pain inside manifesting as self-loathing. Heartbreaking. Alas, I am always so grateful that that Holly survived and got me to this place. Thank you thank you thank you. But read on, it gets better (it always gets better, I promise you, no matter how bad the pain, it gets better).

Anyway, back to shoes. There was this one girl in our school who was the coolest! All you Good Shepherd kids know who I am talking about. I often change names to protect the guilty, or to just give privacy to people who might not want to be written about. Here I’ll just stick to her first name, Eileen. She had it going on and she knew it.  A great looking kid with style and attitude. She was tough, smoked cigarettes, and had a pair of Puma Clydes! I had a cheap hideous version from Pathmark called Mark 1’s.

Eileen and I were never friends but never enemies. We did the cool chin lift to acknowledge each other when we passed in the hallway. She invited me to her party once. All was good.

Then, in seventh grade Eileen and one or two girls in the know had these great platform wedge school shoes. And I found a pair too! They were too big on me because I was so petite and still wore baby-sized shoes, part of the reason I suffered so. But I bought them anyway, who cares if they did not fit. They were just a little bit too big, no big deal.  I’d grow into them eventually. Everything changed after that. I liked my hair, my shoes, my friends. I was not “all better”, how could I be, but I had passed through a really dark rough patch.

Epilouge: To this day, I am obsessed with wedges. I had an almost replica of those black platforms that my best friend had in sixth grade. And to this day the ONLY sneaker I wear is a puma clyde, every color. If you did not get something, whatever you lacked, give it to yourself now, shoes, safety, empathy, love. Luxuriate in it. Peace, my friends.

1 comment:

  1. Holly, you gave me something with this. Happy Valentines Day, and thank you! <3

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