Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Lonely Tap Shoe

I'll be the first to admit it.  I'm a hoarder.  I love "stuff".  It honestly pains me to think about getting rid of things.  Especially sentimental things I'm emotionally attached to.  Or things I paid too much money for.  Or on the flip side, things that I got a steal on.  Or things that would make a great gift.  Or... things that *may* just come in handy one day.  But... I've been inspired by my friends Benjamin and Hilary.  They purged 90% of their belongings.  Seriously.   Crazy you might say, but their house is like an oasis... so calm, serene, orderly and tidy but yet still has a kick of personality and charm.  Their relatively quaint house seems enormous without all the "stuff".  Oh what I wouldn't give for that!  And so.. my voluntary purging has started.

I've been asking myself all morning as I was digging through piles of stuff in the garage, "Do I really need that?   Really?".  I mean come on... am I really going to ever wear my high school letter jacket ever again?  I opted to take a picture of it, which will hopefully suffice in case I get a burning desire to reminisce.  And am I really going to need the extra sets of ping pong paddles that were given one year as a gift "just in case" the others wear out??  (Keep in mind the ping pong table hasn't been used in over 3 years... I could probably chunk that too.)   However for some reason I can't seem to get rid of this:

That's right people.  One, and only one, lonely tap shoe.   But it's a well loved and worn shoe. I can't even count the times I had to have the taps replaced. But... it's pointless to have, right?? It hovered over the "give away" pile... and then I realized that would be flat silly.  Not too much need for one legged people to be tapping I reckon.  Not to mention, the odds are slim someone else is in the same predicament with a left, size 8 tap shoe.  I opted to put it in the "toss" pile.  I quickly snagged it back and breathed a sigh of relief.  I just can't get rid of it.  Why, I'm not so sure... chances are the mate is long gone from this house.  (But.. as you fellow hoarders know.. it may come back one day!)  But even still... for Pete's sake, it doesn't even fit any more!  My once size 8 feet have somehow morphed into size 9 over the past few years thanks in part to my fair share of pregnancy).  The last time I actually tapped in them, I gave myself blisters and had to wear flip flops for the better part of December.  ...speaking of which, do I really need 3 pairs of black Old Navy flip flops?

But alas, still it sits.  All by itself.  Right next to my stash of Christmas garland I got 75% off 4 years ago just in case I ever decided to get industrious and decorate my front door.   I've pondered the excruciating decision of tossing that shoe all day and I finally think I may know why I can't let go.  You see, many moons ago I had a crazy, outlandish dream of being a professional dancer.  Owning my own studio, little girls in leotards fluttering about, you get the idea.  Or being a part of a traveling dance team.  I SOOO wanted to be a 'Fly Girl' from In Living Color.  Remember them?!  Paula Abdul was my idol.  Especially b/c she made tapping "cool" with her Opposites Attract video.  You know, the one where she danced with the cartoon cat??  ...But it didn't seem feasible.   Or a practical way of making a living.   And trying to convince my dad to let me go off to college to be a dancer??  Ha!  ...but still a part of me wonders "What if??" and I sadly regret not pursuing that.  And I know that at the age of 32 and having a family...well.. a career as a tapper is long lost.  I look at Rhett Price, a talented young musician I know that just busted his tail to make his way to Berklee to pursue a music career.  I believe with all my heart he'll make it.  He's got the talent for sure, but more importantly the drive and determination.  That's something I wish I would have had more of at age of 18.

So I've opted to keep my one lonely shoe as a sweet reminder and place it somewhere that I can see it everyday.  See... I have a lot of crazy, outlandish dreams for where I want my photography career to go. Some surely don't seem practical.  Some of them, others don't see the reason why I would want to do them. Some ideas I have for sure won't be creating a fat bank account.  Some seem impossible.  But by golly, I'm going to give them all a whirl and not lose hope.  Not to mention, dreams of who I hope to be one day...characteristics I want to lose and those I want to gain... and dreams of who I hope my little men become.  May it be a reminder to myself to not be discouraging to their own dreams and ambitions, but help instill in them a "can do" attitude.  May it remind to me to provide the encouragement and affirmation to support their wild and crazy dreams.  To let them know they'll be loved regardless of what they pursue.

I wish I could somehow give everyone of you a mismatched tap shoe to serve as encouragement to follow your crazy dreams... however outlandish they may seem.  Press on!  In the mean time, feel free to save the pictures to your desktop if you wish :)

Happy Wednesday everyone.


  1. I LOVE this post...thank you SO much for sharing it Rachel! you are wonderful :) God is making His big beautiful dreams for you come true and it's incredible to see it all unfold! I'm so proud of you! lots of love ;) -molly

  2. Rachel, you are awesome. Thank you for your story.
    -Terra Watson

  3. Beautiful! Great reminders to press on to the mark! Thanks for sharing.