The hole in my shoe is loved: a narrative of why the imperfect should nevertheless be admired


If I’m being honest, I think there are more toothbrushes sitting on my bathroom sink than there are shoes sitting in my closet. 

I own few shoes, but the few shoes that wrap my feet have gone everywhere with me, it seems. They’ve been the means of transportation for my feet, carrying them from one scene to the next—a Toyota for my toes, a bus for my busy life. 

Thus, during an insignificant week before the snow let go of its grip from the clouds and the sun ceased into its pseudo-hibernation, I felt a subtle pang of dread when I saw a glaring hole in my light-colored, somewhat-yellow, somewhat-tan sneakers. 

I specifically recall sitting in the entrance of my home—a small, slightly dank corner with untasteful lighting and random, abstract art hung on its walls—and it happened. I had grabbed my somewhat-yellow, somewhat-tan Vans, and as my fingers began to haphazardly lace its laces, my eyes caught the pebble-sized hole near the area where my toes sit. 

I most likely sighed, maybe shaking my head a few times. I immediately thought, “now, I need to get new shoes, too,” mentally adding it to the long list of my responsibilities that needed to be attended to (obviously because, like the irresponsible teenager I am, my planner became lost in the jungle of my backpack somewhere along the hollow days between Halloween and Thanksgiving).

Unable to mentally calculate the reduction of my bank account in the thirty seconds I needed to hop into my car (obviously because, like my previous statement, I have subpar time management skills, too), I slipped on my broken shoes, nonetheless. 

But don’t get me wrong, with each loop of its laces, I let out a lackadaisical sigh. I allowed my teenage angst to spill out into my expression, delivering abysmal glares to the disrespectful hole as if it was my shoe’s fault for its brokenness, as if it could’ve controlled its unfortunate fate.

But I carried on with my day, with the blatant, bothersome blunder of my shoe. 

Now, it seems I have changed my calendar page twice since I’ve uncovered the source of my bitterness. With each day crossed off and each morning that I re-tie my laces, my abysmal glares run shorter and shorter as I deal them out like cards of a card deck, and I am close to the bottom of the stack.

My hole is illustrative that my shoes have been worn and wanted and loved, even if they’re not perfect.”

I own few shoes, but the few shoes that wrap around my feet have gone everywhere with me, it seems. 

And these shoes have gone everywhere with me, even if they are broken, even if they are imperfect, even if my mom scrunches her nose and raises her eyebrows in confusion every time she sees them, non verbally communicating that I should probably buy new ones.

Yet, for some strange reason that I can’t exactly pinpoint, I’ve come to not mind the hole in my shoes. It is almost like a scar, signifying its journey. It’s a battle wound of all of the bike pedals I’ve touched, all of the snowy parking lots I’ve regretfully stepped into, and all of the cities and fields of grass and homes and streets I’ve visited. 

If the hole in my shoes could speak, I think it might first wince, maybe express its pain. But second to that, I think it would tell all of the stories of me, all of the stories of where I’ve been. 

My hole is illustrative that my shoes have been worn and wanted and loved, even if they’re not perfect. My hole is illustrative that my shoes have lived, even if this journey hasn’t been effortless or carefully polished.

So if my hole could listen, too, I hope it forgives me. I dismissed its journey when I focused on its losses. 

Thus, my shoes are broken, but nonetheless whole—whole in experience and life and purpose.

But don’t get me wrong, I’m thinking about buying new ones soon.

At the end of the day, they’re really just shoes.