Rumination 63: Sole of an Adult

A term that I’ve read repeatedly online over the years is ‘adulting’. Generally, twenty-somethings carry on painfully about how they feel like they’re ‘adulting’, just because they managed to open a savings account, go shopping for groceries or choose to stay home on a Friday night (rather than head out with friends to embarrass themselves while intoxicated at a slimy late-night venue with an entrance fee and toilet cubicles sans doors).

In case you haven’t got the vibe, I find the term ‘adulting’ to be tiresome and an Insta-shriek for attention.

Yet this week, I noticed a change in myself that could be categorised as ‘adulting’. As background, for some time I have been wearing shoes to work that could best be described as—in my own ignorant parlance—low-cut, matte, suede-ish dress boots. They are comfortable, easily paired with both formal and smart-casual outfits and quick to slip on and lace up. Unfortunately, they have faded heavily and the soles have become warped. It’s not the best look to turn up to work this way but I have been unable to decide which other pair of shoes in my cupboard would be appropriate; you see, they’re all more expensive, more formal and more fragile.

On the weekend, while shopping and out for lunch with Natasha and her mum, it occurred to me that I should buy new shoes. I needed a pair that was, as I have already stated, appropriate for smart-casual and more formal situations but also more durable than my current boots.

Natasha was pleased to hear that we were going to a visit a shoe shop; she then helped me to pick out a comfortable leather shoe with more of a sneaker sole: comfier, more durable and inconspicuous in black. Perfect!

As I stood at the counter, making inane conversation with the shop attendant about the security of Apple Pay, it hit me: while already an adult for years, I was in the process of ‘adulting’. Natasha was happy to visit the shoe shop because I avoided shoe-shopping for so long. I was wearing my shoes into the ground because that’s what I did as a kid. Shoe-shopping is boring.

There I was, as an adult, standing in a shop to buy work shoes because they were a necessary and sensible purchase, all the while discussing the necessity of a secure enclave on a wrist-worn device for tap payments.

In 2020, with these new, totally unremarkable yet comfortable shoes, I am fully adult.