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Yesterday was a nightmare. I walked back to my apartment after a long day of class and sat down and ate lunch. A scalding Trader Joe’s microwaved taquito, to be precise. That’s when the bad dream started. I sat down on my couch, just to rest a little before setting off for my next meeting. I decided to take off my shoes so I could get comfy. I’m wearing my favorite boots. My favorite pair of shoes of all time. I love these shoes even more than the sparkly, Dorothy-esque Ruby slippers that I begged for in first grade. Beautiful cognac colored leather, tall Frye cowboy boots. The way these shoes sound when they hit the pavement makes me feel so powerful and confident. They look good with nearly all of my outfits and they boost me the extra two inches to my ideal height. These boots are my spirit animal.

But in a terrible turn of events my dream shoes turned into a nightmare. Somehow, either my left foot grew in the past day or my shoe somehow got smaller, but there was literally no way I was getting my foot out of my boot. After an hour of maneuvering, rolling on the ground, back bending, arm straining, struggling to pull off my boot, I was spent. I was trapped. Trapped in my favorite boots. Panicking about the future of my left foot, crying, sweating on the wood floors of my apartment, I ran through my options. (Option 1) Go through life as the lady with one boot; eat, sleep, shower, graduate from college, get married, have children, retire, all with my left foot trapped in the same beautiful Frye. (Option 2) Grab my kitchen shears and cut my foot out of that damn shoe.  (Option 3) Call my mom crying, like a sad lump of a human being, and text my roommates to come home and help me pull on my foot in a concerted team effort at boot extraction.

I opted for number 3. Unfortunately with busy roommates and a meeting in ten minutes, I had to hang up the phone, pull myself together, shove my right foot back into my other boot and walk back to campus, panicking with each step of my left foot about the potential of wearing the same shoe the rest of my life or having to cut apart my favorite pair of shoes.

Take me back to the shire, Frodo Baggins, these hobbit feet weren’t meant for shoes.

To make matters worse, I was facing another wardrobe malfunction, struggling to manage a flowy sundress in California’s Santa Ana winds. Clutching my skirt hem as I rounded the corner from my apartment, a gust of wind blew, sending dust and debris my way. A falling branch hit my face, and the man across the street may have seen my butt. It seemed like even the wind was against me.

After my meeting, I found myself furiously stress eating a nature valley dark chocolate granola bar. Side Note: that shit is addicting, I can literally eat one in less than 30 seconds, it’s kind of scary. One time, I swear, I blacked out while eating one, one second I had opened the wrapper and the next second both bars were gone and nothing but the crumbs remained. I think I may have even accused my friend of eating the other half of my granola bar, when deep down I knew it was 100% me scarfing that granola-y goodness. Anywho, Nature Valley Bars are the perfect stressed-out snack, as if the rhythmic crunching somehow seems to ease my worries. If only my problems could be casually brushed away like the oatey crumbs of granola shards that are the inevitable casualties of my vicious munching.

My downward spiral into panic and mopeyness was further fueled by an alarming text message. In between my bouts with boot extraction, I had been texting my best friend from home. We hadn’t talked in over a month with midterms and work getting in the way of our usual skype dates. So we were just updating each other on our lives when she dropped the bomb that sent my sad day with a bad boot into a tailspin. Apparently she’s had a boyfriend for a month now, of which I have heard nothing about, not even a text about this boy. She “could’ve sworn” she had told me about him. But I am positive I would remember that little tidbit of info. We have been friends since high school and all through college. Up until now we have commiserated in our perpetual singledom and future spinsterhood.  We are basically the same person and I always felt that I had someone who understood what it feels like to be searching for and failing to find a meaningful connection with someone of the opposite sex. Now I am all alone in my perpetual singledom. My best friends at school are nearly all just recently in “facebook official” relationships of their own, or somehow don’t experience the same level of mopeyness and desperation that I do when it comes to thinking about my sad excuse for a dating life. So now I am all alone, with a freakish left foot and a boot that will never come off. I will be known as the spinster with one boot for the rest of time.

This unfortunate collection of mishaps and life crises, all added up to making me feel trapped. Trapped like the way it feels in a bad dream where no matter how hard you run you can’t seem get anywhere. No matter how hard I try I won’t ever be that girl with the enviable relationship status, no matter how hard I try I will not be able to get off my precious boot.

I could make this incident a metaphor for my whole life. I try too hard. I shove my feet into boots that are just a smidge too small. I place an absurd amount of value on an insignificant pair of shoes, just like how I place too much value on the idea of having a significant other. Being trapped in something that I place such false value on has been an uncomfortable yet enlightening experience. Being unable to take off my favorite pair of boots. Being angry and sad about my perpetual pursuit of a significant other and obsession with my singledom. It’s all proved to me that my stubborn obsessions, whether it be a pair of Frye cowboy boots or the idea of needing a boyfriend, have limited me in the long run. If I had just decided not to force things, maybe my life would be filled with much less self-imposed emotional and physical (dude, attempting pulling off that boot was hard work) strife.

So at the end of the day I hobbled back to my apartment with my roommates, laid down on the wood floor of my living room and had them pull my left boot as hard as they could. One of the funniest experiences of my life, I laid there, bracing myself against the wall in a last ditch effort at boot extraction, laughing all the way through. In this ridiculous situation,  I realized whatever sadness I experienced throughout my Debbie Downer of a day, was nothing in comparison to all the love and laughter I have in my life right now. This may have been a nightmare of a day but I’m living the dream. I may have a freakish foot, and a pair of ruined boots, and no boyfriend. But I have a damn good life, with some damn good friends, friends that will grab your fat foot and pull if that’s what needs to be done.

After all that, my foot is now free, I placed my beloved Frye boots in their final resting place- the corner of my closet- cut leather and ripped seams a reminder to stay authentic and stop trying to force things.

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