I have this pair of black shoes that I should probably discard soon, since I don’t use it anymore. About two months ago, I noticed the soles were eating up. These shoes hadn’t even lasted five months, but the soles were eating up already. It troubled me a bit because I wasn’t planning on getting a new pair soon, and I didn’t have any other black pair aside that, and again, I really loved these shoes! Beautiful and attractive that I even got compliments. But the soles got bad, especially the right foot, and I had to start thinking of getting a new and better pair sooner than later.

Of course, I continued to wear my beautiful shoes, after all, you can’t see the soles if I do not show you. I remember I was with a colleague of mine one particular day; she stared at my shoes and for the umpteenth time since I started wearing those shoes, she said ‘Faith! This your shoe ehn, it’s so fine’. I smiled and told her ‘I need a new one sef. This one is not good, it’s eating up beneath’. She just turned her mouth and said ‘Faith has started o’. I was meant to accept my compliment in peace, right? I knew that, but she is a friend and I didn’t see it as a big deal telling her.

For every other day, whenever we walked together and I have those shoes on, I somehow find myself unconsciously talking about the need to get a new pair, and one I’d really love. One day, she told me ‘Faith! Stop saying your shoes are bad, cos they still look beautiful. What’s bad, really?’. That did it! You won’t know if I never told you; all you’d see is the beauty, not its faults. It was clear I was the only one who knew about the trouble I had to put up with. Talk about trying to kneel in church to worship God, but the person behind is staring at my bad shoes and wondering why I would be going around in such? The thought of that alone can distract my worship. Or stepping on a wet ground and I feel the wetness in my feet? Or the thought of the soles scattering off while I’m on the road? No one likes to be embarrassed.

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Every day of our lives, we see beautiful people; smiling people; people who think life is a very beautiful place; people who are positive. You take your eyes off the real world and peep into the virtual world; everyone is posting selfies with the self-love hash tags, and beautiful captions. We are happy, but really, you don’t get to see what eats everyone deep inside. Like my beautiful shoes, what we see are the smiles, sparkling teeth, make up, smashing looks, glowing faces everywhere. If I never told my friend the fault in my shoes, she would never know, like others never knew; same with life, you will never know until they let you see, and you will only see what they want you to see.

Maybe they start by wearing a gloom on their faces, and they go ahead to break into tears at sensitive times. They wear depression on their faces like the Mary Kay makeup kit, and finally draw the last straw by telling their woes.

You are mad at them! Because you can’t believe they actually made it obvious like they are the only ones going through stuffs in life. I need you to pause and remember that if they never make you see it, you never will, and you really do not have the right to accuse someone for spelling out their woes in block letters. NO! You don’t know how much it has eaten so deep into them, or how many times they’ve attempted suicide, or they are even tired of pretending to be fine, or maybe they are just fed up. Our levels of strength differ. And you may never know if that is all they are going through, or there are still some other hidden pains that they aren’t ready to spell out. I can show you the left sole of my shoe that hasn’t eaten so deep, but you will not see the right sole that has gotten bad, unless if I show you.

We all have where it hits us. Different sections. It may hit you on a spot and eat you so deep, but on my part, that exact thing may not eat me that deep. Something else will. This is exactly why I don’t try to weigh struggles/challenges. I try not to say things like ‘she hasn’t seen anything. Just that small challenge and she is depressed already? Come, let me tell you all I’ve been through and you will leave your mouth ajar, cos you’ll probably be dead by now if you were in my shoes’. This may be true, but it is also important that we understand that “It may hit you on a spot and eat you so deep, but on my part, that exact thing may not eat me that deep. Something else will”. Let’s understand our differences and sympathize with those who come out boldly to talk about their pains and worries.

Yeah! I call it bold, because it isn’t an easy thing to me. One minute I want to condemn that human being who wrote her sorrows as a Facebook update, but another minute, I think of the effrontery that came with it. Virtual world or not, I know what it takes to tell someone that is even so close to me, what is bothering me. I think it cuts a part of my life and leave it hanging in the air, so how the person reacts to it will determine if the clipped life returns back to me and I’m calm or it flies away and I’m broken.

 

Shalom.

Published by Oluwatosin Faith Kolawole