Learning life lessons by breaking in a pair of new cowboy boots
This morning I accidentally spilled cat food into my cowboy boots.
That sounds like the opening line of a country music song. Dear god, what has my life come to?
About six months ago, I purchased my first-ever pair of cowboy boots. And I never thought a love like this would ever come my way.
A few months ago, my boss sarcastically commented on my "new country look." I smiled, and said, "Thanks. It's just who I am now." As I eagerly look my 30s in the face, I've embraced a new sense of myself. The song Prime, from country sweetheart Jillian Jacqueline, is my anthem.
While I'm in prime // I'm gonna do what I want // Gonna ride the wave, gonna make mistakes // Gonna fall hard in and out of love ...
And I have my boots to thank.
Like a lot of people, music helps me go through every stage of life. It has the power to bring me back to a certain moment in time, to relive those feelings all over again. And outfits can do the same. I have a dress that's now a little lumpy and the once-bold colors are fading. But when I see it in my closet, I smile thinking about the first time I wore it, feeling my absolute best, and enjoying a perfect date. I think about the meal we ate, the conversation we shared, the music we listened to.
Over the last couple years, I've opened my scattered musical tastes to country music, much to the dismay of many discriminating ears. (Thanks, Taylor Swift!) I've also been taking more chances on clothes I wouldn't normally wear. (Thanks Stitch Fix!) Out with the cardigans and jeans, in with dresses and ankle pants. And, dare I say, I've never looked better. Especially in my new footwear.
My boots and I began our relationship in Texas. My family just moved to Dallas from Iowa, and a part of me was more excited to go boot shopping than hanging out with my family. I walked up and down the boot aisles in Cavendar's in Plano, Texas, scouring for the perfect stitching. Do I go with square-toed? Or rounded? Do I like a dark brown or more of a tan?
What about the American flag? Or a crucifix? Lolnope. Okay, those last two are not for serious. But yes, of course those boots exist. And now I'm judging the very thing on which I hate to be judged.
Unfortunately, the country fashion brand carries a lot of prejudice. Wearing cowboy boots doesn't just say "Hey, I like how this looks." My boots carry no function nor politics. I do not live on a farm. I do not have a sexy Southern drawl. I do not own a gun. I am not boldly patriotic.
(I ended up playing it safe and going with this classic Ariat boot.)
I know I'm not the first person to wear cowboy boots without agenda. But with them, I am fearlessly stepping into a fabulous future. I've spent the last six months gaining confidence and breaking in my boots. I'm that annoying friend singing white trash Shania karaoke, blasting XM The Highway as I roll up to work, and wearing her unabashed love for country music on her feet.
And now that footwear, along with the music, hold one of my favorite memories ever. Last year I attended lots of country concerts sadly not adorning boots. But my second trip to Dallas earlier this month included a two-day music festival full of boot-stomping beats. My sister, the one y'all can thank for getting me into those twangy tunes, joined me. We belted out all the words to Sam Hunt's House Party, swayed our hips to Chase Rice's sexy hit Ride, and laughed as Blake Shelton drank his way through a great two-hour set.
I've definitely worn in those boots now. And I can't wait for many more moments living in 'em.
It's just who I am now.
Below, I've created a playlist of some solid country hits, all about my new chosen foot armor. Enjoy!