Today my new boots arrived.
They are not particularly expensive or fancy boots but to me they represented quite a lot.
Until January I was in a relationship, my first ever relationship and one I had been in for 10 years. My ex wasn’t a bad guy but he definately had his faults, one of which was being atrocious with money. We were perpetually skint for the whole 10 years. He would spend all his wages then expect me to bail him out. When he lost his job due to ill health he struggled to accept we couldn’t continue spending at random.
My way of dealing with this, somewhat foolish in retrospect, was to take charge of all the finances to try and maintain some sort of control. Unfortunately this was combined with an intense dislike of the arguements and sulking caused by having to tell him we couldn’t afford something. The upshot of this was that the main area I could sensibly control was spending on me. For most of the relationship I spent almost nothing on me. My clothes were from charity shops and, as i generally wore clothes until they were falling apart, I pretty much bought whatever fitted at the time. I got my hair cut about once a year. I generally looked pretty crap. In his defence he often suggested I go and buy stuff but he just wasn’t willing to give up having whatever he wanted at that particular moment in order for the money to be available so I chose the path of martyrdom in order to try and keep our heads above water (or at least near the surface).
But now I am single. Now I can buy clothes. They are often second hand or on sale but now its because I want to save for bigger and better things for me and my daughter. I now have clothes I like, I have haircut I love and I get it cut whenever I need it, I have make-up, earrings and shoes. I am starting to feel like me again.
So to others my boots may just be boots but to me they are more. They are the boots I will wear when I am at university making life better for me and my daughter. They are the boots that will work under smart trousers when I am on placement building a professional reputation in my new field. They are also the boots that will look cute with leggings when I’m relaxing with new friends in the student union (possibly chatting to attractive young men!).
They are the boots that represent me moving in on with my life and learning to be happy, relaxed and free.