When I was doing time chemo, I was excited for so many mundane things that most women do every single day: ordering Chinese take out and eat it in the living room, getting my heart broken by a cute guy I met in a bar, getting weekly manicures. Realizing that not only do I get to try out these everyday activities in a few months, but that I’m fighting for the chance to do them, they took on a new polish that most women take for granted.

One of my favorite to dream about: wearing heels.

Even today, I am tall, gangly, and incredibly awkward. I’d never worn high heels because my huge feet posed enough of a threat of tripping as it was. “To hell with that!” I thought. “When I bust outta this joint (the cancer suite), I’m going to wear heels.” But like anything, heels take practice and a little bravery. Grace and poise don’t come easily, especially when balanced upon a pedestal of 3-5 inches.

I may have been courageous before and throughout my treatment, but in nearly every other element of my life since, I’m terrified of just about everything. I fear new jobs, walking into parties, even board games. But as I get older, it becomes more obvious that when we need strength and courage, we women always come through. It’s like our sixth sense that miraculously flexes its muscles when crisis arrives. But even still, it’s a muscle that needs to be regularly flexed. We must push our boundaries, step into taller shoes and take bigger risks in order to expand as individuals and women. Even if those shoes are metaphorical. The heels I was dreaming about from a cancer suit were both literal and metaphorical; they were the symbol of a proud, sexy, self-aware woman. Most importantly, a woman who was alive.

Maya Angelou calls courage the most important of the virtues, because without it, we cannot achieve or maintain any other virtues.

So whatever you have planned today, don’t be afraid to wear those tall heels on your way there – whether they are literal or metaphorical. Even if you’re scared, every moment enduring fear makes you better at bursting through the walls of your own insecurities. Every moment you accept the fear and do it anyway, you become stronger against fear itself. And the more courageous you can be in this life, the more courageous your dreams can be.

High heels, high hopes ladies.

 

Photo by Maegan Tintari: sourceĀ 

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