When the shoe doesn't fit...

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The worst pairs of shoes I have ever owned were the ones that didn't fit!

Peer pressure to be something that you are not, to be pressed to operate outside the bounds of your comfort zones. When we force it; when we attempt to squash our own dreams and lives into the shape of another, it hurts. It's painful. It's the kind of discomfort that goes way beneath the surface, leaving more than a blistering sore. It aggravates the soul, unstills the mind, and breaks the heart. There is disquiet and discontent when the shoe doesn't fit.

I lived in the countryside when I was growing up, far from the allure of the city lights. My childhood was spent within the wonders of nature, exploring deep gorges, following river trails, climbing waterfalls, running through sugarcane fields. I played backyard cricket, practised karate, climbed trees, cycled, and walked everywhere. I studied hard. I wrote. I read a lot! I developed a love for the written word.

My mom followed an Eastern Philosophy that saw us attending regular Bhandaras and Satsangs and so my life was quite different from most of my peers growing up.

I had no exposure to under-age drinking, fake ids, sex, and clubbing. I was therefore not street-wise like my counterparts whom I encountered when I entered University. I found myself in a whole new world - feeling sheltered, over-protected, out of place. For a time, I tried to fake it. I said yes to party invites, flaming sambucas, down-downs, countless cocktails, crazy nights out. The shock to my system was too much, too soon. I bombed.

I was supposed to be loving this newfound freedom, but instead, when I gazed down at the sleek black heels adorning my feet, the ones which had received countless compliments, I knew deep inside that they did not fit and my social life did not fulfill me. Heck, it had taken me weeks just to learn to stand upright in them! Instead, angst and stress prevailed in the place where joy should have thrived. I was self-conscious and constantly aware of the discord. I did not want to be an instrument for another, a channel for unfulfilled dreams, wearing the shoes of another, never quite measuring up inside.

Now, this is not to say that I did not enjoy my time at University. In fact, I relished it! I cherished it. My intellect was challenged, my horizons were broadened. I encountered true diversity in education for the first time in my life, having grown up under a system of Apartheid. I made some great lifetime friends with whom I still laugh and cry, across the oceans, to this day. I earned two degrees and spent countless hours engaging in chat forums, primarily on Health and Wellbeing, on the internet in the early 90s. I reconnected with school friends from my local area and engaged in more familiar activities of camping, hiking, and bbqs. I led more of an outdoor daily life than a nightlife. Evenings were reserved for my own quiet reflections and growth; reading, writing or enjoying my favourite tv programmes with my parents and siblings.

I had a lot of fun with my Uni mates, but now instead of trying to fit myself completely into their social lives, I was instead working out where our circles of interest and influence converged, and it was in the overlaps, that true friendship was born and nurtured across an incredibly diverse range of people. I learned to look for points of confluence and found that if we seek with a genuine heart that we can create meaningful connections with almost anyone that we encounter along the way.

I realised that I didn't need to be an imposter in my own life. By remaining true to myself, I could connect with people at a more meaningful level. I enjoyed pubbing as opposed to clubbing and when I did go out dancing I preferred the smaller local clubs to the razzmatazz of the big city scene. So I changed my shoes and I pulled on my boots instead. Short boots, tall boots, heeled and flat...and they fit like a glove. I found balance.

Now the shoe is on the other foot and I am striving to live the best version of myself. I have tried to pursue a life of diversity. I am able to engage and interact with most people that I meet, as I always look for the small ways in which we fit naturally as opposed to trying to force the narrative. I am a mom to two young children and I support their dreams, their interests, their realities, and encourage them to look for the good in others, to seek the synergies that connect us rather than the differences that break. No imposition. No pressure.

I am me, just me. My shoes may not be fancy, and to some, they may be plain. But they are comfortable. They fit. They are me. And I am happy.

I invite @beeber, @dora381 and @iskafan to join the Ladies of Hive and enter the weekly contest :-)

Image by The Lazy Artist Gallery from Pixabay



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Thanks for the mention ma'am

I have already gotten a post ready for today

I am definitely going to prepare another one for this contest

Expect my entry tomorrow....thanks again 🙈

It's great you found a way to find your place and create your circle of friends, and acquaintances

I apologize for trying to fit into a mold that wasn't yours at the beginning

I wish you luck in the contest

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I think the Ladies of Hive contest entry has to be in on Saturday, but please recheck the rules :-)

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Oh no! I'll check... Thanks

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If you have one prepped to go, you'll get it in no problem.

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You have received 5 LADY(LOH) tokens for posting in Ladies of Hive.

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The worst pairs of shoes I have ever owned were the ones that didn't fit!
Yes! That's the key!
It's gotta fit: wide enough so it does not pinch any part of your feet,
... toes most especially.
When buying a heeled and pointed shoe, the tapering of the shoe got to start where the toes end,
... because our toes are not tapered!
So the shoe should be longer than your feet.
myshoes_illustration.jpg

I hope you find your style in the future!
Good luck with the contest!
Ladies of Hive is here for you.
This is where we can exchange ideas and be inspired by the stories of others.
Perhaps we have the knowledge to share or perhaps we need to learn from others.
No matter what it is ... do it on Ladies of Hive.
You are not here just for yourself.
We are here for each other.
Meet other women in the community!
Get others involved!
Support each other!
And let's have fun!

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Its good to stand out most times. That way, tour shoes fit properly rather than stressing yourself with a shoe that doesn't fit.


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Absolutely, we all need to be brave enough to be ourselves in the world. We all have value; every single one of us, and if we look closely enough we will find it in everyone else too.

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Wow, I really should write an article about a day in the life of @samsmith1971.
At first I had no idea it was your story and I was slowly taking everything in.

Most of us have worn shoes we weren't comfortable in. Most of us are still wearing those shoes in the hope that one day we'll get used to the shoe. Sometimes we realize too late and end up with a lot of sores on our feet, keeps us down and most times we're not able to stand properly again.

I'm glad you were able to realize on time that you weren't in the right pair shoes and you still worked towards putting the pieces of your life together.

This is an amazing post, I'm sure it'll change the lives of others


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thanks for stopping by Chinco 🤗yeah, funny thing is that after I left Uni I became friends with a small group of people from my local area (I met one of them at work), all late teens to mid twenties and we all used to frequent the same local English pub (which is pretty much a bar not a restaurant) but the couple who owned the pub had quizz evenings, movie nights, Sunday roast dinners, Pool competition evenings etc and the pub was attached to a small nightclub that they owned too. There was a door between the two so you could come and go. A friend of ours was the resident DJ and used to play awesome music and because it was a local hangout in my village, we knew everyone and so it was just like having a party with your mates every weekend. So I know how to let loose and enjoy myself, I just couldn't gel with the big city life. Even after we moved to the UK in my late 20s and early 30s when we used to go into London on occasion with friends to go to a club, I never really enjoyed it. It just felt inauthentic to me somehow. I much prefer the buzz you get from pubbing; far more intimate environment. Vibrant but more social. And some pubs have pool tables...and I do love me a game or three of pool😝

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I get what you mean my dear. Sometimes we just need the simplest of things to make us happy.
I hope you'll get a chance to go pubbing again, get loose a bit, play a game of pool and maybe dance to the beautiful jams from the dj.

Have a great day!


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To thy own self be true. I've definitely can say that I've worn shoes that weren't meant for me. I clearly remember a certain pair of cleats that literally wore to a senior retreat, then never touched then again.

Yet experience is worth having. Glad you been able to make the most of it. Plus your kids might even make use of your experience, and convert it into their own wisdom to help as they walk their paths. Thanks for sharing the !LUV. Here's some !PIZZA

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Thank you 🙏Absolutely, being an authentic version of oneself is the path to true happiness. My children have their own interests and talents and we encourage and support them in their pursuits. They have a wide variety of friends from the quietest to the most bold, from the sporty to the intellectual. They find common ground :-)

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I thinks that's the greatest compliment a parent can have.

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Thanks to your post, I think it's time to donate my fancy pairs of shoes but not fit me anymore. I paid too much attention to the outside world and bother so much about what others think about me, but forgot about myself. I should have learnt to let it go sooner.

By the way, Thank you for the invitation. I was busy with other topics of my interests so I couldn't join you this time.

Enjoy your weekend. Cheers, Dora

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Thank you for stopping by to say hello :-) If you have a chance to explore Ladies of Hive, I'd highly recommend it, and if you get the chance, take part in next week's contest. Hope you've had a great weekend.🙏😀

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Great storytelling and even better moral. I haven't gone climbing (indoor or outdoor) in a while, but I totally understand it's call. That said, I love 'girly girls' and 'sexy shoes' too, but what really matters is this: All 7 billion+ souls on earth are here to 'be who we are', in whatever ways speak to us most. Ultimately, the 'faster' we're each able to figure out what feels best (and fits best) for us, the better imho, and it sounds like you've managed to do so earlier than many. Inspiring. :) #KeepRyzing 🙏

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🙏I love my nights out when I get to dress up and be girly lol but the beautiful shoes...oh they are a pain to endure and we have to ask ourselves; are they really worth it? sometimes...yes...mostly Nooooo lol. It's the day job of being a mom to two adventurous primary school-age boys that puts paid to being too girly during the day. Mostly jeans, tights or shorts, a top and a pair of Sketchers GO WALKS 🤣

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They're worth it for some (my instagram feed's filled with them), and not for others (sounds like this may be you). :) I love 'walks' (lol), and was raised by a Mom, so I respect whatever suits you miss. 😁🙏

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Glad I found this post and read about your views about various aspects of human life. I am pleasantly surprised reading words like, Bhandaras and Satsangs which are so familiar to me even if I don't practice them and the region is certainly not religious.

I am not sure if you have heard about the Aryasamaji sect? But if you did then you would know what I mean.

You have covered a lot about life in your post and I can relate to most of them. I hope I will come across many more posts from you to understand about living life with your perceptive.

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Thank you for your valued support and meaningful engagement as always @sunnyag :-) My mom was a Satsangi of the Radha Soami Satsang Beas. I had personally not heard of the Aryasamaji sect but you know you just made me look it up ;-) Having read this Arya Samaj I can see a couple of similar teachings/values but the RSSB that I am familiar with from my days growing up does did not have the "dogmatic, militancy" referred for which Arya Samaj is criticised and was not restricted to a sect of any one religion, as Arya Samaj is to Hinduism. It was all-encompassing, and you could have any faith as your base faith and still attend satsangs and then become a disciple thereafter if you so chose. RSSB is centered around meditation, karma, reincarnation, vegetarianism, abstinence from alcohol and drugs.

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Probably you are mixing Aryasamaj with RSS which is totally different. Aryasamaj has nothing to do with militancy or any hardcore beliefs. The only difference is that Aryasamaj doesn't believe in idol worshipping but yajna and purification is the ultimate teaching.

Aryasamaj was behind many reforms like anti-dowry, child marriage, and Sati, the ancient widow-burning custom. You must have heard about Vivekanand, Dayanand, etc that started this sect.

I am fully aware of RSRSB which is not far off from my current location. Moreover, I am also interested in ISKON, not as a regular member but for the joy I get from attending their temples.

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(Edited)

This is such a valuable lesson that you have learned. I wish we can give this post too many of our young people to read...if only they would pay attention.

My wife has a great way of saying it. People are quick to put you into their boxes...meaning they try to mold you, judge you, and get you to do what they would like you to do.

This post is well written and I love your comparison of... "when the shoe doesn't fit". Excellent way of playing with words. It definitely gets the message across.

If I may ask...did you grow up in South Africa? I've had a look at your profile image the first I visited your profile...that scene looks like a scene in the Drakensberg...
I got here via @dreemport

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