The best pair of shoes I ever owned were… I don’t remember, but I’m quite sure they were not Birkenstock. Wait, what does a child know about these things? They were a pair of …oh, I don’t know. Let’s talk about the pair of shoes standing in my closet.

I have a pair of red stilettos, with a cute squarish bow in front.  My cousin bought them for me a few years ago. These stilettos, they have moved with me across states, countries and continents. Yet, in all the time I have owned them, I have only ever worn them once. Why? Because I am utterly hopeless at wearing high-heeled shoes. I try, believe me, I do. I practice in my room, with the effortless grace of a model at the Paris Fashion Week. However, when the time comes to wear these beautiful shoes out, my feet develop rebellious brains of their own, and make me look like I’m attempting to tap dance. You see, I am not a teenager anymore, and with old age comes the realization that certain aspirations are to be carefully wrapped and stored in the attic. But some of those aspirations simply refuse to go away. They stay with you in the optimistic days of childhood and adolescence, fade into the background while you tackle the exams, jobs and every other thing the fickle old woman called ‘life’ throws at you; but then they blindside you in those (rare) moments when you’re daydreaming, reflecting or even thinking random thoughts like “huh. That’s a gorgeous car”.

That’s what these shoes are to me. Aspirations that won’t go away. I keep hoping that one day, somehow, I would be able to wear a pair of 5-inch heels and strut about gracefully, at some sort of distinguished event. I’m also afraid that might never happen, seeing as I have developed an unbreakable affinity for ballet flats and plimsolls. I remember, at my graduation from university, how I donned a pair of purple heels and had to walk really fast in them. I can only hope my gown masked the madness my legs were performing that day, but I know how grateful I was to take off those shoes after the ceremony. I have since given out that pair of shoes. Maybe I’m stubborn – no, ‘tenacious’ is a more positive word- but now I am in the middle of acquiring a masters degree and once in a while, I take out my red stilettos, wear a suitable outfit and walk about in the comfort of my room, like a boss. Shameful, no?

These days, I hear there’s a ‘stiletto whisperer’ in New York who teaches women how to walk in heels. I’m about 7000 kilometers away from New York – but perhaps he can offer online lessons? Skype, anyone?

I don’t want to toss these shoes in the attic 😦

PS: I wrote this essay as an entry for a Birkenstock scholarship contest. Somehow, I can’t get the image to show, but please vote for me to win by clicking on the ‘<a href…>’ link directly under “Please Vote For Aixen”, or the black rectangular box under the text that describes what I’m doing. I hope this is not too confusing. Also, if you want to participate in this contest, you can, as the link is underlined properly in the box below.

Thank you in advance!

Please Vote For Aixen

Aixen would love to win the $1,000 Scholarship Contest, so if you’ve enjoyed the story, please vote for Aixen, by clicking on the crest below. Nominee - Nominate this website for a NAME-OF-CONTEST Award from

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