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Everyone knows the saying, “if the shoe fits, wear it.” Well, by some funny trick of fate my shoes never quite fit – at the same time, anyway.
My right foot is exactly one half inch larger than my left. A benign oddity, that while never causing me serious issues, used to make shoe shopping quite the source of mortification.
If someone were to ask who I am as a person, I’d be willing to bet they would never bring up my foot disparity. Why would they? The dimensions of my limbs aren’t exactly forthright about my personality, my deepest hopes and desires or my past experiences. But that half-inch incongruity makes more of a difference in my life than one would suspect.
I’ve played volleyball in shoes a half-size too big for my left foot, and worn sandals a half size too small for my right foot. I’ve trekked around in heels on Homecoming that pinched my toes on my right in order to satisfy the comfort of my left. I’ve worn slippers and fur-lined boots that enveloped my left so my right doesn’t poke a hole in the toe.
I’ve had more experiences in my life than I can quantify where one of my feet has had to adjust for the other foot’s comfort. Often times that’s also true with my personality. Every sport, hobby and extracurricular I participate in sees different parts of myself.
When I stand in front of the newspaper staff in my Rainbow flip flops as their Editor-in-Chief, I’m trying to be approachable and enthusiastic, but simultaneously professional and determined. As I dive across the court for a ball during a volleyball game wearing my black and white Asics, I’m scared of failing, but equally aggressive. Out to dinner with my friends, sporting my navy boots, I’m lighthearted and sarcastic. Sprawled across my bedroom floor in mismatched socks, I do my statistics homework while attempting to be astute and not discouraged.
All the aspects of my life each call for various components of my personality. There is no one way to describe myself as a person because there is no one answer – different people in different facets of my life see different aspects of myself. Just like there’s no one shoe size that fits me.
I don’t have a pair of perfectly fitting shoes, and I probably never will. But my asymmetric feet are part of who I am. Whatever my path after high school entails, I will walk in my multiple shoe sizes, adjusting the type of shoe as needed.
Sandals: Over the years I’ve learned sandals are a much better shoe to fit my left foot – the smaller of the two – because it’s easier to have my toes stick a little out the front, instead of not fitting completely. Unfortunately, no matter I try it’s always inconvenient. In a world full of five-dollar footlongs, and 6’7 basketball players you’d think half an inch would be inconsequential, but in the world of sandals that half inch can make or break you.
Tennis Shoes: I always size up in tennis shoes. Laces are a magical blessing that allow me to cinch in my left foot like a 1600’s princess. Also a thick sock is a sure cure to help lessen the wiggle room.
Sandals: Luckily for me, my Rainbow flip-flops that I love oh-so-much accommodate both my feet decently well. But I definitely have a defined imprint from my asymmetric feet in each shoe. The mark from my right heel clearly reaches the back of the shoe, whereas my left looks incredibly pitifully more than a fourth of an inch away.