“I’ll Make It Fit”: On Love and Shoes

I have way too many shoes. I’ve gotten rid of a lot of them but there are some I just can’t seem to part with, even though I haven’t worn them in years. I have tons of fabulous heals, but between the fact that I’m already 5’9″ AND I’m a mom, I just see no need to wear them on a regular basis. But you never know when they might come in handy, so I keep them hanging proudly in my overflowing closet just for good measure.

Having a house full of boys, I never really expected that my sons would be interested in playing dress up with mommy’s clothes and shoes. I was sadly mistaken my friends.

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These boys LOVE some heels! And really any pair of shoes. They’re not discriminatory over what kind they are. They thoroughly enjoy heels and boots, but they’ll wear whatever you’ve got. Those boys will shove their tiny feet into whatever size and shape foot adornment they can.

I’m okay with it. It does not bother me one single bit that their favorite thing is layering themselves in my shoes, hats and jewelry…while pampering me and doing my hair. Hands to the heavens, I have no worried bones in my body about this. I think it’s precious! And, I like that there has been some use for those long abandoned heels.

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Ethan is the one who loves shoes the most. He goes through a minimum of 237 shoe changes a day. Whether they are his, mine, his baby brother’s, Gigi’s, whoever…the rotation of shoes throughout the day is just almost constant.

You all know the saying, “If the shoe fits, wear it!” Well, this little guy sees no reason why ALL shoes don’t fit his feet. And if they don’t fit, he tries anyway. The other night he found a pair of slippers from many months ago that have long since become too tight for his clod hoppers, but the boy will not be swayed. He kept trying to shove his foot into those slippers like the ugly step sister on Cinderella. When I said, “Sweet pea, I think those are too small.” He looked at me and said, “I’ll make it fit.”

Bless him. He got this determination from me and there have been times in my life where I too have loved a pair of shoes enough to try and will them to fit my enormous feet. I’ve done it on both sides of the shoe spectrum…too big and too small.

You all know what it’s like to find the perfect pair of shoes at the store, only to try them on and they don’t quite fit. Too big is a little bit easier to manage than too small, but for me with my humongous hoofs, most of the time the issue is too small. I have been like my little Ethan in a store saying, “I’ll make it fit.” The heart wants what it wants.

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Unfortunately, I’ve done this with more than just shoes.

How often in life do we compromise for something we want? We fall in love with something, or someone, and even though it’s clearly the wrong fit, we try to force it to work anyway.

This seems to have been the story of my life. At least my love life.

Almost 5 years ago, my heart stumbled upon a pair of “shoes” that sparkled. I wasn’t even in the market for new shoes at the time. I was still in the process of cleaning out my closet. But, like any good shoe lover, even if you don’t really have room in your closet, or your wallet, for a new pair, you figure out how to get those suckers. When I found the shoes, knowing I had no business looking at them in the first place, I reluctantly tried them on. They didn’t really fit my feet very well, they were way too expensive, and they weren’t even my style; but they were cute and new and exciting and I wanted them. So I said, “I’ll make it fit!” and carried on.

I’ve learned this is never a good philosophy, whether it’s shoes you’re forcing to fit your feet or a person you’re trying to fit in your heart. The end result of that coercive attempt will always end in pain and discomfort.

The other thing I’ve learned is that it’s okay for the shoes not to fit. It doesn’t mean anything bad about you, your feet, or the shoes. Your feet are exactly the size God wanted them to be. The shoes may be perfectly lovely. But if the shoes don’t fit your feet, it’s acceptable, and even necessary, to move on. Even if you have the money, you’ve saved and planned, and everything about the shoe is perfect for you accept that it’s half a size too small, you have to release the desire to make it fit and find the right size. You don’t have to shrink your foot or grow the shoe. In fact, trying is fighting a losing battle. It won’t work.

My stubborn strong will and vehement desire to make something fit that never did left me with sore feet, a bruised heart and an empty wallet.

The saying is, “If the shoe fits, wear it.” Not, “If the shoe doesn’t fit, make it work.”

My sons parading around in the wrong size shoes is adorable. It’s not so cute when translated into other things though.

Life is a careful balance of making the right choices and not obsessing over making the wrong ones. I’ve made a lot of wrong choices along the way. For a long time I believed that if I made the wrong choice, I had to figure out how to make it work anyway. I didn’t believe that I could just make another choice.

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Apparently, this works for boys too! 🙂

With shoes, you never really know how wrong the fit is until you come home with blisters and aching feet. With love, you never understand how how hard you’re falling until you smack into the ground. The wrong fit, in both love and shoes, will always leave you with an aching sole. (See what I did there?)

For the last several years, I have worn the wrong shoes. They were cute in the beginning, but they quickly lost their sparkle. They didn’t fit. They hurt my feet. They’ve been difficult to walk in. They’ve been embarrassing. But I’ve continued to wear them. Some days, these shoes hurt so bad that I didn’t know how I’d take another step. Other people saw my shoes and thought they were glad they were my shoes and not theirs. But I chose them, and so I wore them.

Many of us choose the wrong shoes. There are some shoes you can take off once you learn they don’t fit. Others, once you put them on, you have to wear them for the rest of your life. Although I am finally strong enough to take these shoes off, the ache of wearing the wrong pair for so long will last forever.

The good news is, I’ve learned my lesson. I took the shoes off. I’ll find another pair. And if not, I’ll walk around barefoot forever because the pain of wearing the wrong shoes far outweighs any judgment that could come of not wearing any.

I hope my sweet peas learn to pick the right shoes someday. For now, we can all find joy in their love of mine. We will walk the path set before us knowing we are strong enough to handle it and God will guide our steps, no matter what foot decorations accompany us along the way.

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49 thoughts on ““I’ll Make It Fit”: On Love and Shoes

  1. This is amazing, Rachael. The comparison is fabulous, not to mention how adorable your boys are. But really, this has really made me think. Do I sometimes try to make things work in normal life that just don’t mesh with me a or my personality? Just because everyone likes to wear a certain style of shoes, does it fit me? And am I okay doing what simply works best for me, despite what others may say. Great post Rachael, and I have to say, you have a beautiful sole (I stole your play on words!!), without the shoes. To me, your bare feet right now adds to your realness. Thanks for being so great! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh Marla, you are too sweet! Tha,k you so much! I’m getting strangely comfortable being bare soled ☺ I think it’s how I’m supposed to be…even when I find shoes, I think I’m supposed to stay pretty bare bones and busted because I believe that’s where the beauty is. Thanks for being great yourself!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh my- what a fabulous way of explaining this thing we call love. I too have many literal pairs of shoes (not heels because they make my feet hurt) and have so tried figuratively to make “shoes” that don’t fit… Fit somehow. Thank you for writing. And your boys… They are so precious!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ha ha! I love that your boys dress up in your shoes! And man. Oh man do I know how it feels to shove my size 10 feet in a pair of shoes. And how it feels to shove myself into situations that don’t really fit to keep people happy. Such a wise post!

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    • Haha, yeah those will be in the wedding slide show and graduation pics for sure. Love them! And yeah, It’s cool how the challenge doesn’t sway our kids from things that tend to sway us as adults. We can learn from that mentality! 🙂

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  4. What a beautiful metaphor. I love how you were honest about hardship, but you still kept it playful by coming back to your analogy. This is a very, very well written piece. And PS your kids are ridiculously cute.

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    • Thank you so much Alana. I always appreciate your heartfelt feedback and responses. And thanks for the compliment on the boys! They’re pretty hilarious with the shoe fetish they’ve developed, but at least I have enough shoes to keep them occupied and entertained. 🙂

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  5. I am very guilty of collecting ill fitting shoes (and men). I have a very small collection nown of shoes and a hubby that is a perfect fit. It is not always about how flashy or of the moment they are, but the ones that are comfortable enough to go the extra mile in. Thanks for sharing!

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  6. I love you and your metaphors! Your descriptions and analogies make it easy to relate. It’s absolutely true, you cannot force a shoe to fit the same as you cannot force love to work. This is such a great piece (as always!)

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  7. I love this metaphor, and not just because I love shoes. I’ve learned as I’ve gotten older that decisions can be changed if they just don’t fit anymore. As you say, why wear painful shoes that don’t fit when there are plenty of others out there?

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    • Exactly Dana! Its painful to take them off once you’ve gotten used to the pain of wearing the wrong shoes, but there’s freedom in it and it’s a necessary step in the right direction. Thanks so much for reading and for your comment!

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  8. You really nailed it on this one. Please tell me you’ll enter it in BlogHer voices of the year next year.

    A post about your kids in your heels would have been cute.

    A post about your outlook on love and past mistakes would have been thought-provoking.

    Blending the two into a powerful metaphor? That’s special stuff. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. It’s cute that they’re playing dress up. Like any other game, it’s a phase that they’ll probably grow out of eventually. It’s still fun right now, and you may even get them to practice cleaning up after they play! or practice matching.

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  10. I loved this post! I’m currently barefoot at the moment! And the interesting thing about that is I’ve always been more comfortable barefoot (literally) and maybe that goes for the love department as well! Lol but when you’re barefoot, be extra careful when you wander into unknown territory, take each step gingerly and with caution!

    You’re boys are the cutest! Thanks for all your wonderful posts. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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