The Lesson of Bad Old Shoes


If you haven’t heard, I am a psychology student, so, (over)thinking and (over)analysing things that matter and do not matter, is kind of what I do. Then again, this is probably why I become a psych student. It’s really the chicken and egg theory.

Now that I have submitted one of the research essays, and my left parietal lobes and adjacent temporal and occipital association areas are super activated (yeah, just something I just researched for the paper, I won’t remember in a few days), a pair of old shoes means something more than a pair of old shoes.

I have this pair of shoes that I absolutely adored. I don’t wear them much, and there is a perfectly good reason behind it.

Vicious Cycle

I am convinced this pair of shoes is cursed with dark magic (psych student or not, I will always embrace the imaginative part of me, and never let go of the fantasies of my magical playground).

I would wear them. Start regretting in under an hour. Seriously regretting in an hour’s time. Firmly remind myself NEVER to wear them EVER. Two days later, it’s usually unimaginable pain on my (one of the chronic conditions that I ‘collect’) back. Then, I swear (silently) that I will NEVER EVER wear them again.

A few months later, the history repeats itself, conveniently at my inconveniences.

Finding the Good in Worst

The key problem is that I really adore the shoes; and for some unclear reasons, I never got to toss them in the bin. It’s as though I secretly hoped that someday the shoes may transform into the cinderella glass shoes (metaphorically, I am not great with glass, just so you know), and they will fit into my feet perfectly, and hopefully the Prince Charming follows too.

The Lesson

Like any lesson in life, it starts with a light gentle whisper in our ears – the first sign of abrasion on the skin.

Then, a clearer message – the blisters.

Then, a firm and assertive statement – broken skin and infection.

Then, a loud shout – slipped disc.

Finally, a deadly punch – perhaps a permanent damage to the disc or a nasty infection that leads to deadly consequence. (ok, a little hint of exaggeration there)

Knowing the Why 

Sometimes we pick up the old pair of shoes and put them on again, because we don’t have other pair of shoes, or we are just too lazy to find another pair that fits. Or worse, we are on a rebound! (You don’t believe? You haven’t met enough women who are crazy about shoes, they mourn over shoes! – I am not one of them, I am a one pair of shoes woman, literally!)

When we have no shoes, or too impatient to hunt for that perfect pair again, we compromise for less, much less, and conveniently forget the pain that this pair of old shoes once brought. Perhaps there was a time that it fitted quite well, but that time has passed, yet we convinced ourselves that we could rekindle the good old comforting feelings once again.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that all old shoes are no good. I am saying that the problematic ones are problematic. If it was just a simple design fault that can be easily fixed, then, it would be fine. However, it it’s the structural issue, like the construct of the soles, there is no fixing, and probably not worth fixing.

Another scenario when old shoes are just as good as before is when you lost the shoes somewhere in the house, and you know how eerily lost stuffs just appear out of no where when you least expect it. Test it, and if it’s good, then it’s good.

Display Pieces

We don’t have to throw away the old shoes, for some reasons, some shoes are not throw-able! Perhaps it’s family heirloom? Or shared property, perhaps with someone in the family (I don’t know, I really don’t share shoes, or anything! I am not a sharer.)

Then, remember, just because they look fine on the other person, doesn’t mean they will work for you. And if it’s family heirloom, leave it for display, and nothing more.


I don’t know, I do have something in my head that I associate with the story of old shoes, but I guess you can apply it anyhow you like.

The thing is, this lesson when applied in relational issues, we ought to be mindful of the reason why it was unfitting in the first place.

Once, a pair of old shoes was returned to me, one that I threw away because it nearly killed me, I guess I must have forgotten to remove my name on the box and somewhat, it found its way back to me! When returned to me, I forgot all about the worst part, and only remembering the good appearances. The second accident resulted in a few years of bare feet experience. The next time we take back what had been thrown away, we need to evaluate extremely carefully, keyword – EXTREMELY.

Yes, I will throw away the shoes tomorrow when I head out.

So, that’s the story of old shoes. Now, I will go do more damage to my brain by working on the stats exercise.


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