A Tale of Two Boots

The silver lining of today’s relentless rain: it gives me an excuse to wear my new (old) favorite Hunter wellies.

My husband ordered these boots for me several years ago. Well, not these particular boots. Well, they could be the ones he ordered me. But probably not.

You see, these boots are limited edition, and they came out after I had my daughter in 2012. I saw a celebrity wearing them in a magazine and my wonderful husband (who shares in my Anglophilia) searched high and low to snag me a pair in my size.

Except they didn’t fit. I felt embarrassed and defeated as I tried to yank them over my postpartum calves, to no avail. I took them to a cobbler who tried to stretch them out, to no avail. I held onto them because I loved them. But I never believed they would actually fit.

So there they sat, in my closet, a daily reminder that I was overweight and out of shape and would never be thin enough to effortlessly slide my svelte calves into Hunter boots. As if I needed one more thing about which to feel guilty in those early days of motherhood.

A few years after I first received the boots, I decided to make some changes. No, this is not when I joined Weight Watchers or decided to stop drinking. Instead I decided to accept myself just as I was. No, not acceptance. Resignation. I had had two kids after all. So I resigned myself to being bigger. I had my wedding rings sized up. I found a neighbor who is an eBay ninja and I purged my closet of these boots and other items that had been glaring at me for years, taunting me, decimating my self-confidence. I used the money I made from eBay sales to buy boxy, loose clothing in a size that made me feel shame every time I shopped.

This state of resignation lasted for a couple more years. And then I just couldn’t take it anymore. I was tired of feeling fat and gross and I knew I needed to try, at least, to lose weight. I had no faith in my ability to succeed with weight loss, much less being able to maintain it. But I was desperate to feel better. My mom and I joined Weight Watchers in March 2017, I lost 23 pounds in 10 weeks, and I haven’t looked back.

Except for these boots. I have looked back many times at these boots. I don’t have many regrets in life, but damned if I didn’t regret selling my Limited Edition Hunter Vintage Union Jack wellies. (Plus, my husband was not thrilled either, considering they had been very hard for him to find in the first place. His rightful annoyance was the whipped cream atop my guilt-and-shame sundae.)

I Google-stalked these boots in the hope that they would be re-released. But they weren’t. So I bought myself a pair of royal blue boots at the Hunter outlet. As elated as I was to fit into them, and as cute as they are, they still did not fill the void.

So I set up an alert on eBay. And the boots popped up a few times at outrageous prices. (Have I mentioned they are limited edition?) And then, the other day, this pair appeared. At a price around about what I made off the pair I sold. With butterflies in my stomach, I opened the listing. And after firmly dismissing a moment’s hesitation – “Do I really deserve these? After all I was the dum-dum who sold my original pair…” – I clicked “Buy now.”

And now here they are. Back in my life. But rather than searing me with shame from the inside of my closet, they are keeping my feet dry and making me feel a little fabulous as I do my usual mom-chauffeur routine.

Clearly this is about more than just the boots (but seriously how cute are they?!). It’s about believing in myself and my ability to be my best. Believing that I deserve the best. Believing that if I put good energy into the universe, the universe will respond in kind.

I’m choosing to receive these boots as both a gift and a message.

A gift to myself for putting in the work that has not only given me slimmer (and stronger) calves but improved my overall well-being in myriad ways.

And a message from the universe:

“You are forgiven for not believing in yourself. And I trust you won’t make that mistake again.”

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