Last week I bought a pair of slippers for only $5- bargain! I brought these slippers back to my humble abode and as I slipped my feet into them I had a sudden, stark realisation- “It’s official. I’m settled”. Nothing says ‘home’ like owning a pair of slippers. Your house shoes, your comfort cushions, your foot snugglers- the bigger and bolder they are the better! Fashion doesn’t come into the equation cause this is your safe space. Here you are free to experiment with texture, colour, shape and design- the only necessity, comfort. Why did it take a pair of exotic pink, hun-inspired slippers to bring on this subsequent realisation? I’ve been living in Melbourne for nearly two months now!?
My ‘Howya Hun’ slippers
About 2 weeks ago, a friend asked how I was settling into life in Melbourne but used the phrase ‘has the dust settled?‘. An interesting idiom, which only now I’m connecting to my state of affairs. Moving somewhere new is always a big undertaking- physically, emotionally and mentally. There are many things to take into consideration- the obvious being; finding a home, finding a job, finding new people to play with. Finding your feet on the other hand is a process that takes a little bit more time. Finding your feet isn’t quite as tangible in the same way that finding a job is. You don’t make a foot resume- size 5, hardworking, a bunion on the left foot which demonstrates mileage and experience.. no no no.
I couldn’t quite explain my slight feelings of dis-ease and displacement over the last couple of weeks. I’d found a home, I’d found a job (2 jobs in fact) and I’d found friends to play with? Why hadn’t I found my feet? Finding your feet can only become a reality when all the frantic fundamental finding is over. It happens naturally and in it’s own time. I’d been kicking up the dust these last few weeks and only now do I feel that the sediments are starting to settle.
Kickin’ up dust at Melbourne night market
I have a fondness for the use of metaphors when I write.. a metaphor-whore so to speak. My mind tends to teach me through metaphors. Like most humans, I can get lost within my thoughts but symbolism always speaks to me on a more pragmatic level. Here’s a metaphor to explain the slipper metaphor ……. It’s like giving a 6 year old an adults book and expecting them to make sense of it. A non-fiction, million billion word, old leather bound book. In this metaphor, I represent the 6 year old and the book represents life. The first problem encountered is that there are too many words, big words, adult words that I don’t understand. The second- other children trying to read my book to me which is ridiculously confusing! They can barely even read!! Thirdly- it’s long, way too long. I’m missing all the key points and I’m losing interest. Lastly and most importantly, there are no bloody pictures!! Enter: SYMBOLIC IMAGERY i.e PICTURES. All of a sudden, the key points become a little clearer. A picture speaks a thousand words. I don’t need to ask the other kids for help because I understand now. Slowly but surely I start to make sense of each chapter. The pictures inject colour onto the pages and help summarise the chapters (or lessons) in a way I understand.
For the last year I have lacked the need for a pair of slippers. An explorer’s slippers are either your bare feet or a pair of flip flops (also known as ‘thongs’ down under). Slippers are to be worn in the comfort of your own home and as an explorer.. well, you don’t really have a home. Your destination is constantly changing. Slippers would be considered a luxury item and unfortunately they would take up too much space in ones backpack, thus making them an inconvenience. These slippers came into my life at exactly the right moment to help me realise that the dust has finally settled. I am settled and I am comfortable.. in my new life and in my new slippers.
For those who don’t own a pair of slippers- I suggest you stop what you’re doing and go and get a pair right now! It’s foot-heaven! Am I sounding like a granny? Meh! Then I’m the happiest granny in Melbs. Other things we can learn from grannys.. liquidise your dinners- saves energy on chewing. Soaking your false teeth in a glass of whiskey makes for an excellent morning beverage. And repeatedly telling the same stories over and over again demonstrates strong long-term memory.