Little Black Boots

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I think I have never felt that much confident with myself throughout my life. It has always been easier for me to find what I’m lacking rather than to realize my own good points. Whenever they ask me to list down my strengths and weaknesses I always write down my weaknesses first and finish them in less than five minutes, whereas I struggle to even remember the things that I am good at.

Well, it’s not like I have never tried to do the extra miles to make me proud of myself and finally be able to be more confident. Believe me, I tried. Countless times. I even tried to understand what makes other people do a better job than me in this field. When I finally learned the reason for that is that those people love themselves for who they are, I got stuck. To love yourself means that you have to be happy for who you are. Happiness comes from within — and I don’t like what comes within me.

I also learned another thing: to be happy for who you are, you have to be comfortable with your own skin. There are so many ways to be able to do that, and one of the easiest ways is to take a look at yourself in the mirror and put on whatever item of clothing that you feel most comfortable with to wear. Like so many people in the fashion industry said, “Wear the clothes, don’t let the clothes wear you”. It doesn’t have to be fashionable, or branded items. Whatever you put on yourself, as long as you feel good with it, it can make you feel good about yourself too.

So, to make me feel happier with myself, I decided to buy a pair of used black boots online. They were genuine leather, and I would never be able to afford the new ones, not with my current financial situation.

Why boots? I’m the type of person who prefers people to see me looking cool and different rather than looking cute and beautiful. Being cute and beautiful is boring, no one would remember you with so many pretty faces out there. In a world where people constantly have the need to differentiate themselves from the others, why be insignificant? Moreover, I live in a country where people don’t really wear boots, let alone the black ones. It’s sizzling hot for eight months every year in here, so why bother? Apparently, I do. Given the circumstances, black boots make me stand out from the rest. And black boots also give you an instant cool look.

Whenever I looked at myself with those little black boots in my bedroom mirror, in someone else’s car windows, in fitting room mirrors, and in every surface that can reflect an image of myself, never once I have ever felt disappointment and resentment towards myself. Why did I ever waste my time to look down on myself? The fact that those little black boots were actually a size smaller than my feet size didn’t even bother me. It sure hurt like hell when I wore them too long, but damn, I looked so good.

That evening, I tried to catch a bus home after hours of window shopping and looking at myself in those little black boots on the shops’ window glasses and mirrors in my town’s favorite mall. It was already after office hours, so finding a bus was not easy. Every bus that came towards me was already packed with too many people. Just when I decided to go back inside the mall to wait until the after office hours were over, a seemingly empty bus came closer. Having lived in this town for so many years, I knew that I have to be prepared to fight for a spot in that bus. People always go berserk for a ride home, especially after a long day in the office.

As the bus came closer, I was already prepared to run as fast as the wind to secure my spot, but somehow my right foot failed to compromise. My mind went blank and the next thing I knew I fell down from the sidewalk that was a lot higher than the main road. When I realized what was going on, I suddenly felt the raging urge to cry. Not because I was ashamed, but because I felt that five centimeters high heeled black boots betrayed me. It felt like those little black boots refused to acknowledge my newly found confidence. It felt like those used little black boots thought that I didn’t deserve them because I was half a cool girl the previous owner used to be. It felt like every time I admire myself in the mirror, those little black boots loathed me even more.

I looked around and saw people staring at me, but none of them batted an eye to help. I tried to gain what was left on my strength to pull myself together and get up from the road. With tears still kept coming down my face, I managed to make myself sit down on the sidewalk.

Looking down at my sprained right ankle that was starting to get red and swollen, I saw my little black boots. The ones that gave me confidence to love myself more. The ones that hurt like hell to walk on with that I came to love. The ones that gave me more hell afterward.

I’ve never seen those little black boots again since that day.

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