Wednesday, 28 July 2010

A Change of Shoes, A Change of Myself

Today I wore make-up for the first time in over a year. And heeled shoes.

Me, wearing mascara, 6:30 am. I wasn't quite as nervous as I look!

Today was quite a landmark in the chain of 'things that happen in my life'. Today I had an interview for a potential career. Today I could have started something amazing.

To be a little too ambiguos, it was with an amazing company, for an amazing job. This could get me my ultimate dream; a dream that always seemed a little too far away to reach.

I left the door at 7am. On the train, squashed in between a hoard of commuters in varying shades of super-ambitious, I looked at my reflection in the window. I looked like a terrified little girl, out of my depth, unrealistic, quite pathetic really. An hour's commute and a change at Leeds Station later, I arrived at my destination. Rainy, grey, depressing. No Marks and Spencers - I needed to buy new tights as my big toe was sticking uncomfortably through my only pair, which are also permanently stained with blood from some nasty shoe rubbing. Classy.

I trapsed through the damp streets knowing full well that not one passer-by would take me for a grown up, about to attend an interview for a job that so many would jump for; I hadn't even bought new tights. I was wearing a pinafore (a really nice one, I must add), stained tights, ragged Converse pumps that I've had for nearly 10 years, and a cagoule which hangs down almost to my knees. I can't re-iterate enough how out of my depth I felt.

After getting very lost and ending up on a lovely housing estate with seriously divine gardens, I located the building. I was 45 minutes early, so I wandered around the area for a while. Nearby I found a lovely canal, where longboats were moored as the travellers prepared for the day ahead. I stood and reflected for a while, then swapped my Converse for my smartest shoes, which I'd carried in my hand bag, knowing full well I couldn't walk the couple of miles to the train station and then to the interview in heels. Relieved that my shoes covered the rip in my tights, I straightened up and took off my cagoule. Suddenly, the little girl was gone, and I was an adult, a professional, a smart and vibrant person totally suitable for the job I so wanted. Amazing. I strutted through the car park, totally ready, totally confident.

All it took was a pair of shoes; I still can't believe the transformation in my confidence. Maybe being 'an adult' has more to do with feeling like an adult than actually being one. Maybe the transformation will never be fully complete; could it really lie in the difference between Converse and kitten heels? I do hope this is the case.

As for the interview, it went ok. I enjoyed it, I enjoyed learning about the company and the job, and I enjoyed putting myself to the test. Today I dipped my toes into the future, and it felt really really good.


  1. You look gorgeous! And take it from one who was still getting ID'd in pubs at 26, when you're 36 you'll be thankful for it!

    Being grown up is all about front and bravado, underneath we're all still little girls and that's OK.

    I hope the interview went well and all your dreams come true! x

  2. "Maybe the transformation will never be fully complete; could it really lie in the difference between Converse and kitten heels? I do hope this is the case."

    This is a really good sentence.

    Just thought I'd say, since I do like keeping track of your really good sentences.

  3. yes! shoes make a world of difference!
    this is so wonderfully written, as always, catherine!

  4. Oh how exciting! I hope things work out the way you are hoping. Great picture, you look very pretty.
    Michela has very kindly emailed me her Italian Grandma's recipe for gnocchi which I'm sure will be much tastier than mine, if you email me on I'll send it to you.
    Lisa x

  5. you are so cute!!! thank you for taking us on your whirlwind journey- i do so hope the future is bright and good to you! i wish it should be for me soon-- i have to go in to my little job at 4 until 9 and i'm just thinking... UGH, it shouldn't be unfair for anyone to work that shift but alas. Will i ever work again for a company i LOVE and don't dread going to? oh how i miss my old job :(

    and i totally do LOVE your idea of a jammies date ;)


  6. Loved reading this post! Yes, I think a pair of shoes can change you to an adult. Or a necklace, a hat, your favorite ring. The way you walk, the way you *feel*. Keeping my fingers crossed for you! There is more than one dream job out there for you, and it certainly sounds like you will find a few of them!

  7. shoes can definitely make a huge difference :). yay for putting on your "big girl shoes" and good luck with the job!

    p.s. your blanks are going to be up on the blog tomorrow!