made for walking

I came back from London over two months ago but I still haven’t managed to say goodbye to a pair of shoes yet even though I should have long done so. They’ve been with me for only a relatively short amount of time in comparision to some of my other footwear but they walked a long, long path.

My trustful companions through Sweden, Edinburgh and London they finally gave in on the last days of the London trip. Too much walking; threads that had gotten too thin and so together we barely made it back home with cracks in the sole, holes in the canvas and blisters on my feet to go along. I immediately got a replacement for them because I can’t be without a pair of Chucks. They are my go-to footwear.
Dress? Obviously Chucks.
Jeans? Chucks.
Shorts? Hell yes, Chucks.
You get the idea.

And so here I am, with a new pair that got broken in in Paris, continuing the tradition of their predecessors as trusty travel companions but I couldn’t throw the old ones away yet.

chucks 1

It’s not as if I would wear them again because have I mentioned how torn they are? And also they stink extraordinarily, mostly curtesy of that last tour through London in the heat and occassional rain.

You could say I’m a sentimentlist and it wouldn’t be wrong, because I am. I like to keep things that remind me of certain times.

These grey shoes I bought about a month after my Mom passed away. (Isn’t it amazing how many times I can come back to this? Also, I have seemed to adopted this method of time measurement. B.D and A.D. before and after death. Anyway.) For the following 1.5 years they were the footwear I put on most aside from those winter months when I had to wear snow and cold appropriate shoes. They were one of the first A.D. things I got.

A better writer than myself could turn this situation into a depiction of my grief; the more steps I took, the closer I got to my reality of living without a mother. They began to get torn whereas I started to heal and grew more and more into my current, happy self.

chucks 2

Can you tell I’m stalling? Because by the time I reach the end of what I have to say about these shoes, I will have to let them go for good. There is no reason holding onto a stinky pair of torn Chucks I will never wear again but they are also incredibly linked to that first time A.D. and it’s difficult.
It really is and you can laugh about me all you want but it will not change the fact that I have devoted an entire blog post to saying goodbye to them and also explaining to myself why they matter so much and why it is so bloody difficult for me to say adios to a thing that is a tie over from one part of my life to another.

I wore them the day I signed my work contract.
While meeting old and new friends; making memories I revisit on many days because they are among the happiest I got in recent years.
I wore them to discover cities I had never been to and some I was already familiar with.
They accompanied my thesis writing; going to the university and carrying me back home again.
We went to the theatre together more times than I can even remember.

(Another paragraph down, phew.) I know this is getting ridiculous, they are only a thing. Not real people, nothing to actually miss and I am sure once they are gone, I won’t miss them. It’s like taking a leap, once you did it, it’s not difficult at all, getting ready to jump is worst part.

So here it comes. Are you ready? Because I am as ready as I will probably ever be (to say farewell to a pair of Chucks).

Auf nimmer wiedersehen.
Hey då! Tack för alldrig.
So long, and thanks for all the steps.

(In the end, it was really easy to open the garbage bin and let them fall because I didn’t give myself a whole lot of time to think about it anymore. I made a decision and went with it so now they’re gone.)

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  • Tim

    So I had a pair of Chucks that I had similar feelings about. They were a black and white pair of plaid Chucks I had bought when I was in Manila. I accidentally tore them while rock climbing, yet I still held onto them for nearly two years after. I didn’t have the heart to get rid of them. I’m fairly sure I lost them in my move from Phoenix. They looked kind of like this if memory serves.

    • Wilhelmina Upton

      You know? This makes me feel a lot better about my inability to throw away a piece of torn garment. I still have my first pair I got in 11th grade because they were green and pretty even though they don’t fit me properly anymore.

  • I had a pair of slip on Vans years ago that I loved. They finally wore out/I grew out of them but it probably took at least 2 years before I could bring myself to throw them out. I couldn’t find any in that style for years so I’ve yet to replace them, but I still miss them.

    • Wilhelmina Upton

      It’s completely dumb and I have replaced these with a black pair but I still miss them in a way. They are just shoes, damn it. Also, good to know I’m not alone in this.

  • Vanessa

    I’ve got quite a few pairs of sneakers I should throw out too, but yet there they remain, sitting in my closet. I keep meaning to take them up to my cottage, where if I need to wear shoes chances are I’m doing something smelly or sweaty anyway, but they never seem to make the journey up there.

    • Wilhelmina Upton

      It’s just weird how we hold onto some things, isn’t it? I still have a lot of things I should throw out but I can’t bring myself to do it.

  • cupitonians

    Haha. I’m wearing similar shoes – torn soles and stuffed with memories!

    • Wilhelmina Upton

      I guess I transfromed the memories onto this blog so it was okay to let them go :D