As a child, I was rarely at a loss for words. Talking a mile a minute, I was NOT the person to share a secret with, because, within a few minutes anyone within earshot would surely know every detail. As I became more of an adult, I shared a few less details with most, as I learned some people have a very specific ulterior motive. Upon graduating college and moving to Tennessee, I was thrown into a world few have experienced, and even less truly understand – the music world.

My days and nights were spent on a 45 foot bus, traveling from one large city, to a rural “dot on a map”, as my Grandfather used to say, and back again.  It seemed a lot of people I had seemed to lose touch with for whatever reason, appeared back in my life, even if at a distance. Excited about my new job and new opportunities, I was eager to share all the cool cities I visited, and fun things I was able to be a part of. Some people were genuinely interested in hearing about my adventures, but sadly, some people were only in it for the gossip. Upon realizing I was pretty tight lipped about most people I encountered, whether those I worked for/with, or random “celebrities” I met, some were upset. “How could you live in this big city, meet super cool, famous stars and not tell everything you know?” were the (sometimes) unspoken accusations. 

It can be a lonely (at times) world. Not even being the one anyone cares about, (as far as “fame” goes), I found myself wondering who I could really trust, were my friends around because they liked ME, and who was hanging around to see if any name-dropping occurred?  As a result, I have become much more of an introvert. Don’t get me wrong – I can still talk a mile a minute, and I get carried away at times – but its when I am around those who get me, who love ME, who like ME, who are in my life for the right reasons and who I can completely be myself around. When in a large group, and especially when its people I don’t know well, I am thrilled to let someone else take the conversation and run with it. 

Besides, I am much more interested in hearing other’s stories. Being a very observant person, I often look at people’s shoes. Shoes tell a whole story about someone, often without them having to say a word. Being someone who thinks a lot of life can be explained in metaphors, I believe there are different types of people; “3 pair” types – those people who have one pair of boots- for when the weather is rough, and they need stability, one pair of dressy shoes – for when they need to impress, and one pair of comfy shoes – for when they just want to be comfortable. All three pair have some wear and tear, but they are durable, reliable, well made.  

Some people are more like the “1 pair” types – the person who doesn’t care what anyone thinks, who isn’t out to impress anyone, and who wears a pair of shoes until they literally fall off his feet. Lastly, there are those people who can’t begin to tell you a number. They are so consumed with never getting dirty, they are terrified to wear a pair of shoes more than once, for fear they will get scuffed, or worse yet – someone will remember a story about the shoes, and in the process of telling the story, embarrass the owner.

These people are so consumed with the façade that all is well in their life, they feel the need to over-embellish (have numerous pairs of figurative “shoes”) so that people are busier commenting on their new purchase, and don’t have time to get personal.  In case you haven’t realized, these “shoes” are metaphors of life and people and friends.
I would like to think of myself as somewhere in the middle, more along the “3 pair” (figuratively, of course!).  I enjoy taking care of myself and want to look well, but I am reliable, worn in but strong, have been up the mountain and over the hills, down through the valley and around the lakes. I can “fit” in the city or country, comfortable or demanding situations, and won’t easily fall apart. If you look closely and take the time, you’ll see glimpses of where I’ve been – a scuff here and a scratch there, but overall, I’m in good shape. 
Think about it, what do your “shoes” say about you?

Photos by Lauren Blair =)

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