After reading “The Body Keeps Score” by Bessel van der Kolk, M.D., I have had several realizations about my personality traits and how they have shaped me as a person. One particular realization has to do with my infatuation with shoes, which has puzzled me for some time.
Until the age of 36, I owned only two pairs of shoes: a pair of running shoes and a pair of boots. I was conscious about spending money, and as a teacher, I couldn’t afford to buy more. Then, my ex-partner convinced me that I needed to invest in good-fitting shoes, and since then, my collection has grown substantially. While some purchases were necessary for social events, others were driven purely by the joy I felt when looking at and trying on new shoes.
Recently, I have come to the realization that my obsession with shoes is an emotional search for the joy I felt in childhood when my father or grandmother would buy me a new pair of shoes. Now, I am like a drug addict, trying to recreate that feeling of joy by constantly searching for the perfect shoe, fit, and leather. However, this joy is short-lived, and the guilt I feel for buying unnecessary shoes is overwhelming.
I have come to understand that we unconsciously try to recreate the feelings of extreme joy and pleasure we experienced in the past. So, what do I do now? First, I need to get rid of the shoes that I don’t need, no matter how attached I am to them. Then, I need to find joy elsewhere, something that doesn’t cost money and is healthy. This is not an easy question to answer, but it is something that I need to work on.