A Saleslady, Slingbacks, and an Epiphany

Moments that re-define our life can happen anytime and anywhere. For me, well, one such moment involved a simple pair of much-loved, worn out, navy blue slingbacks that led the way to me embracing my truest nature — without apology.

Years ago, when I was a younger woman, I went shopping to replace a pair of lovely, navy blue slingbacks that I had previously bought and worn until my two big toes were surfing the pavement.

So I decided to return to the shoe store where I purchased the original pair, hoping desperately on my way there that I would get very lucky and be able to replace my beloved, worn out slingbacks with the same pair.

I can hear you thinking: What’s the big deal? It’s just shoes. Well, the big deal was that at the time I only had two pairs of shoes to my name. Yes, two.


Well, because for me a shoe had to be (and still does) all things: pretty, feminine, stylish, very reasonably priced, and comfortable. Price, comfort and style were non-negotiables! And those slingbacks were all that!

Sadly, Lady Luck had business elsewhere that day. Many months had passed since I had made the original purchase, and those slingbacks were out of stock, forever.

Upon hearing this, I felt a little frantic and began to wonder what would I wear on my feet now that my beloved slingbacks — remember, one of only two pairs shoes I owned then — were over and done.

The saleslady probably sensing my disappointment and panic asked, “Is there anything else I can show you?” And show me she did. Lord knows she tried.

But in a store full of shoes of all styles and colors, there was not one pair that appealed to my sense of style combined with my need for comfort. Ugh!

Finally, feeling difficult and silly for not liking anything, I decided to save her any further trouble and be on my way, so I said very apologetically, “I guess I’m just too picky.

And then, out of nowhere she uttered something so simple, so profound, so priceless that to this day I still turn to that moment when I need a swift kick in the arse to remind myself to fully embrace me.

The details of her face has faded from my memory, but, strangely enough, I can still see her expression. It was matter-a-fact, warm and sincere as she said and I quote: “You’re not picky. You’re simply a woman who knows exactly what she wants.”

You’re not picky. You’re simply a woman who knows exactly what she wants.”

In that moment, a dark room in my mind became flooded with light.

In that moment, I understood something fundamental about my nature.

In that moment, those words became permanently etched on my heart and mind.

In that moment, my own heart embraced me, completely.

Yes, navy slingbacks and a shoe saleslady taught me how to embrace myself and changed my life.

NOTE: These words were originally posted on January 30, 2015. Over the last week, I have been reconsidering who I am in the context of my world, so I thought I would share them again — re-edited and spruced up a bit — with you.

Call to action: In the comments below, share, share, share. Do you have a re-defining moment? Is it easy or difficult for you to embrace your true self?

6 thoughts on “A Saleslady, Slingbacks, and an Epiphany”

  1. Only time I feel that way about shoes is on the way home from tennis, in the car, out of my confining toe compacting court shoes, sporting my chocolate brown Crocs. Yea, right.

  2. I know what mean! I have this fleece coat that I bought from Macy’s many years ago. I love it. I wear it everywhere. I lost it in Walmart once when I was shopping. When realize what I had done I felt like I had lost my best friend. I went back to Walmart hoping and praying that someone turned it in. Luckily for me someone did. I still have that coat, and I still wear it every winter. There are just some things that you cannot compromise with.

  3. I know you to be a woman that knows what she wants, and, more importantly, knows what she does not want. I wish I was more like you, but you have rubbed off on me in many ways. Thanks.


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