The Unravelling Threads

I had an interesting day at office yesterday (yes, my office is back open full time; I’m not happy about it, but that’s a whole other story).

I got ready for work and ditched the usual pair of heels that I wear in favor of these other ones that somehow never felt right, but well, I have spent money on it so might as well wear it. I must have worn them maybe once or twice before this? I am not even sure. But yesterday, I thought why not wear them. They are wedges, so normally they are very comfortable. Something felt off from the moment I put them on, but I ignored it. “You just prefer the shoes you wear every single day,” I said to myself and moved along.

I reached office but the nagging sensation did not leave me. My right foot kept feeling, light-ish, so to speak. In fact, I specifically checked if the upper half of the shoe is coming off, apart from the heel. It looked okay, so I ignored my feeling and went on and about my day.

And lo and behold. To no one’s surprise, it came off. Split into two distinct parts. A slight twist in my ankle, and the top half of the shoe stayed stuck to my feet, and the wedge heel fell to the floor in all its glory. What a wonderful start to my day!

Isn’t that how it is with us in life? The seams start to show much in advance, in a stage where we can fix things or take corrective action. Yet, we ignore it, thinking this is too miniscule an issue; a non-issue, rather. And we ignore it. Every inch of our being begs us to take notice of the red flags that keep waving high. And we naively turn a blind eye to what’s right in front of us. All in the name of living a fantasy that will break us into pieces moments later.

But the few extra moments we want to keep living a lie, they get us. Like how we bargain with ourselves to sleep a few more extra minutes in the morning. It’s not like that would give us any more rest. Rather, it keeps making us anxious for being late for the rest of the day. Yet we risk the tone of the entire day just for a few more minutes of extra sleep.

I digress. I am layering metaphors over metaphors.

But anyway.

Things never suddenly go wrong, contrary to how we usually perceive it. No. There’s always signs. Subtle. Tiny. Glaring. Huge. All kinds of signs are there. You can always tell when things start to unravel. But denial is a powerful, magnetic place. It pulls us in with all its might, and we happily oblige, sitting in solace, living on borrowed time, staying where we are no longer welcome.

All for what?

We fear what we have to face if we accept the reality of our situation. And fear, primal as it is, drives human behavior like no other!

Here’s the funny thing, though. What we avoid facing, it’s not like it disappears into thin air. We can ignore it, but if the seams have started coming off, the heel will break eventually. And it will do so in a way that is messy, inconvenient, and borderline nightmarish. Might as well have taken action when I was at home and could easily have picked up a different pair.

But where’s the fun in that!

I sometimes worry for my sanity when I see the trajectory my mind takes and finds some philosophical resonance in the most mundane occurring in a day. Maybe it’s a good thing, but more often than not, it takes me down the rabbit hole of wrong decisions taken in the past. And the mind begins to wander.

Like most weird encounters, this one also has left me feeling a kind of catharsis. Sure, my shoe breaking in the middle of a work day was no picnic by the sea. But it did make me take stock of my gut and be more mindful to it in the future. And, it did force me to get creative and rely on a lot, and I mean a LOT, of brown tape to hold my shoe together long enough for me to reach home without torturing my feet. To top it off, it also made me realize that you don’t always have to wait for things to get worse before you start to do something about it. I mean, I brown taped the F out of the left shoe that was perfectly fine. Why risk something I know very well could happen!

And, most importantly, it taught me that things eventually get better. I reached home without wrecking the shoes any further, and this is now quite a funny story for me to tell people. It got me writing on here as well, so there’s that.

So many positives can be drawn from every negative. That’s the essence of life. Or rather, that’s the essence of my take on life.

Going forward, I’ll just be damn well careful about which shoe I decide to head out in. And if it feels wrong, I’ll know to trust my gut over everything else!

– J

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