I bought my first pair of Nike Blazer Mid 77s one year ago. When I ordered them I spent weeks constantly refreshing my email and tracking the shipping, and when they arrived, my excitement was immeasurable. I checked my doorstep and there they were in that signature orange box so vibrant it glowed. I held up those shoes like a child on Christmas morning admiring them and noting every perfect detail. They were made with blinding white leather with a very precise black Nike swoosh with black Nike lettering on the backs. I began to wear them every day because no outfit was complete without my beautiful Nike Blazers that I had vowed to keep in pristine condition. 

Eventually, I began to see creases followed by scuffs and dirt patches. At first, this made me mad. Why weren’t they perfect? I slowly and intently watched as the once snow-colored shoelaces turned muddy and gray. The once clean soles turned the color of asphalt and became marked with grime. 

I used to look at those shoes and see everything I had dreamt of being: perfect and flawless. Now when I stare across my room at my beat-up shoes, I see them as not stained with dirt but with memories. I see the scuff-mark from when I tripped over a rock and fell into a bush at Disneyland. I see the splash marks from dancing in the rain with my best friends. And when I look down at the legs those shoes are attached to, I see the places I have gone and the places those bruised knees and gray shoes will take me. I have learned to see the allure in being imperfect and the fun in being messy. I see the beauty in the gray.


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