This month, I was given the gift of being able to observe the strength of an amazing woman [my mommy] who, when faced with the fragile reality of her mortality, she walked upright and said that she was Highly Blessed and Highly Favored. Yes, my mother is not perfect and we have never had a simple black and white relationship. Being strong willed, emotional women we have had what can be called a ‘purple’ relationship, with all its beauty and shades. But this month, I saw strength in her fears and peace within her tears. Where others have rightfully fallen under pressure, she chose to fall to her knees. It was her choice that led to positive energy, and attracted her supportive angels who stood strong at her side as she faced this storm. And it is again her choice that is allowing her to rise, not as a victim, but now with the positive force of a phoenix [who knew, phoenix blood may actually be hereditary].
Now that was a whole paragraph of digression -I may be getting worse-but then again the words jump out onto the keyboard on their own, so don’t blame…me blame the words. Earlier today my mom mentioned that she noticed how much I am wearing heels. Truth be told, I am now in heels at least five to six days a week [and not just heel, but heels of colors and textures]. This may sound simple to you, but this is more than a family joke, as everyone knows that I struggle to walk in heels. Heels were my nemesis; for decades, I avoided them for as long as I could and for as often as I could. I mean, I may have been the only girl at my prom who wore her gown with baby-kitten heels, and even those heels were ridiculously hard for me to walk in [don’t judge me, but I took them off early in the night]. I have long legs and most of my friends are shorter than me, so there was never a real reason to wear them, as I already towered over most of them walking in sneakers.
But, as with everything uncomfortable, they kept reappearing in my life and would not go away. When I graduated, there was an expectation that, once I got my first adult job, I would wear some form of heel. Looking back at how I struggled, I think it was/is very unfair to think that for a woman to look professional or formal she had to rock a pair of heels-this is/was just crap. How can me feeling like an unbalanced and blindfolded ostrich be considered graceful or professional? If I am uncomfortable, that simply means that I won’t be able to perform at my best, and it would result in me feeling scared about taking anything more than two steps. This may explain why I was always looking down when I walk. Maybe along with trying to balance myself on the tightrope of life, my past attempts of wobbling around in heels may have left me doubting more than just my physical steps… [isn’t it interesting when you start writing something and have one of those Aha moments for your own self]. Digression is sometimes necessary when it comes to self-evolution.
But today, I choose to wear heels because I now know where I am going. The movement of my steps are no longer covered with layers of doubt and fear. But instead, they have been shined and polished to reflect the buffing power of my past experiences, as well as the new sparkle of hope, confidence and raw faith. My mother and many other inspiring women have shown me that I don’t always have to know where I am going or even how I am going to get there. I can walk, steadfast in faith, knowing that even when my own legs may not hold me up, my faith in God will hold me up. Life will have moments where you must walk outside of your comfort zone and step into roles that you may feel that you are unready and ill-equipped for. However, like that cute pair of strappy heels under my bed, I will have to step into it someday, and that day will be soon
I may not be able to stroll across the street like America’s Next Top Model in six inch heels or ever wear the hot red platform heels like a few of my friends. But I am gonna do my own cute strut in my own heels. I am going to continue to look at the women around me as I learn my strut. Whether it is one of my older sisters who, no matter her humble beginnings, is one of the strongest entrepreneurial and family oriented women I know. Or my Antiguan powerhouse who, even when she doubts her own abilities and skills, can not only take the most romantic and heart touching photographs, but this queen has the talent to perform emotion stirring, thought provoking spoken word that entertains you while opening your awareness to the world around you. Women like these [and of course my mom] have shown me in their own way that I no longer have to be afraid of where and how I make my steps. I am free to step out as I am, for who I am, and these days I make those steps in heels.