Runway #9 (I think) – Runway modeling is freaking fun and glam !!! I would never have thought I’d be able to model sometimes. ….but the best part of my experience with participating in hair and fashion shows are the lessons that inadvertently place themselves in the line of my eye fire. How dare I learn something about LIFE/LIVING from modeling ?? I am so thankful that I have been blessed with modeling opportunities.
Sometimes, they reiterate old lessons and sometimes, they usher in new ones dressed in gowns with a popping lip 😉
Yesterday’s fashion show was no different and it was at high school, which meant we modeled on school floors, which is equal to no carpet!!! Nothing but shine and reflections !!!!
I made the mistake of only grabbing one extra pair of shoes on my way out that morning: A pair of black lace booties, along with the shoes they requested I bring, which were a pair of butterfly pumps that I just bought about a month ago. These just happened to be the pair of heels I had in the car when I went for the fitting. They loved them and paired them with a cute dress and it made all the sense to everyone for me to wear those….it made sense to myself. I knew then that me wearing these shoes may or may not be a problem, but I thought I could do it. I take chances on myself. The reason these shoes were even in the car was because I had taken them to work with the intent of getting my feet acclimated to them. They are a half size too big but not because I don’t know what size I wear. They run big and I don’t remember reading that about the shoes, but seeing as tho they were online purchases, it’s always a chance being taken. I got them and realized the half a size is the difference between shoes flopping and me walking flawlessly in them. But they are pumps….I just thought I could make it work with them because they are pumps with no platform and a low arch. SO I never returned them for a smaller size. Also , I think I was concerned that I would get the smaller size and not be able to fit them at all, then I would end up w/o these cute shoes. I basically have the same result tho from keeping them. More on that later…..
Back to yesterday morning… I should have grabbed some other pumps but I was still sleep….i was out late and up until 2am fooling w/my hair, so I was still sleeping at my 7 AM rising…..eyes open, but I was sleep.
Fast forward to the show. We arrived at the school and still thought ‘i can do it’ while casually listening to my instinct question my life choices ….
then we rehearsed ….to my surprise they put me first.
I’ve never walked first. I’ve lead my segment before ONCE and that was a choreographed segment, but I have never walked first out or last out. That is a lot of pressure. Every position in a runway show is a pressure filled spot because all eyes are most definitely on you, so there is no time for insecurities. But to be the person who starts it off or ends it, you have a hint of extra weight on top of you because you are either showing the audience how yaw are about to bring it or how you go out with a bang. With that being said, when she pulled me to start first, the first thing I thought was ‘oh no, but these shoes”. … Sheeesh, but I pumped myself up and said internally ‘you got this’. …I also may have chuckled a bit at God’s sense of humor…..I’m SURE God was sipping tea when I started walking…
..So I walked in them. Horrific.
Even the ladies of the boutique saw it and as I walked and struggled to keep these shoes from flopping off my feet, someone said ‘come on januarie, you can do better than that’ …I realized quick that whether or not I choose to claim myself as a model, I HAVE modeled before and people expect XYZ out of me. Just like in poetry: Folks expect me to come out with a long poem, perhaps about love or black people or maybe even a story. But they expect what I have given them in the past. At this quick rehearsal, I was not giving what I had given in the past.
I was giving something new: I call it, ‘I can’t walk in these’. Lol, I gave them the I Can’t Walk iN These Heels’ treatment…..I struggled to get down to the end of the runway and every time I got to stop, I was able to regain control of my feet in these shoes. It didn’t help past four steps.
I thought to myself ‘what you gonna do goofy?’
Have you ever try walking with your back straight, eyes focused, face on fierce, showcasing an outfit, on a slick floor w/fall potential in shoes that are too big?
When we got back to our area, the ladies had me try on a second dress to walk in. I initially tried to play it off with my black booties, but I knew the pumps would look better with the style of dress. It was requested that I wear the butterflies. Now, I had to walk twice, three times if you count the final all-model walk. From the rehearsal to the start of the show, which was at least over an hour, I contemplated what to do….I was excited because I was walking twice. But I was stressed because I was thinking ‘ there is no way I can do TWO shitty ass walks…I ain’t come out of town to look like I need OFF the runway fast” ….
What to do….do I suggest I wear the other shoes?
Play it off with these shoes?
Stuff them and practice now?
Do I ‘forfeit’ and say I can’t do it? Will I be a disappointment?
Will I let myself down? What if I walk in them and fall?
What if I walk and they fall off my feet?
How will I play THAT off?
How will I be invited to walk again?
Oh, the wonder-filled mind of januarie and all her selfie-questions. I’m usually the quietest person in the room no matter the circumstance, but please believe in my head, I have a whole lot of thinking going on, about SOMETHING.
Finally, it was nearing showtime. We went backstage and I had both of my shoes there. We had about 15 mins before our turn when I had the bright idea to put toilet paper or napkins in my shoes. Sure it was a less than ideal situation and I would likely not ever do that in real life, but for the sake of the runway, surely I can handle some TP in my shoes if it means my shoes will stay on the back of my feet. I tried it. Matter a fact, I tried several versions of this shoe stuffing. I stuffed the tips, the sides, the tips AND the sides. I balled up the napkin, I folded the napkin. I put my feet in first, I put them in last, I put them in after the paper then put more paper on top of my foot. I tried so many fucking versions of self-help and after each time that I felt mildly secure in, I would go practice on the surface. After a few tries, it helped. At one point, I thought it a good idea to leave them on but then my feet started hurting and I figured that would do the walk a different type of injustice. So I took them off and right when it was our turn to line up, I put them on.
But not before my instinct had her day in court. I sat on the floor envisioning myself making a fool out of myself for three excruciating walks down the runway. I sat Indian style and silently asked myself: which one of these would make you look like the bigger fool? Suggesting that you wear the butterflies only once or walking in them both times. I knew the booties did not go with both dresses. They just didn’t and personally, I couldn’t let myself NOT try to make it once. If I made it and made it well, then I could keep them on for the second walk. I sat there as time was winding down and our turn neared and then I just said it.
I looked at the ladies and moved in closer and said ‘I don’t think I can wear these shoes both times, they are too big”…..I briefly explained that they were new and too big and I would be willing to try if that’s what they really wanted but that I just didn’t want to look like fashion roadkill……just that simple. And like that, it was over. I would go out in the butterflies, and when I came back to change, I’d wear the booties. I still thought I could do these butterflies once. I had practiced with the tissue enough to build a lil bit of confidence.
And then it was our turn.
I made sure my heels were tight as I could get them, with my feet secure in their place thanks to the tissue. And I was first, and just like that, it was my immediate turn:
The music started and strut (as best as possible and slow) out to the runway, turned, stopped and got ready to go hard. I went ……and that is exactly what it was: HARD!!!! By the time I arrived at the middle of the floor for the first stop and pose, I felt like snatching those shoes off my feet and walking w/a bounce and a smile. People were videoing and taking pictures and I could hear my instinct saying ‘nah, you will NOT get me bad’….but anyone who was videoing probably did get me bad….I got to the end and it felt like I was out of breath….I turned and walked back down and was so thankful the next girl was coming out to take the attention off of myself. SHIT!!!!! FUCK!!!! DAMMIT JANUARIE!!!! <<<internal voice…..
Instead of posing at the end, I admit I diagonally walked to the back in a take off method: meaning, you would have thought I was about to run. I wanted OUT of those shoes. I wanted OUT of that hard situation that lowered my model-confidence and I felt like prevented me from wearing the shit out of such a cute dress !!! I was so concentrated on those shoes not falling, which was truly fucking with my walk quite a bit…I felt crooked and timid and was distracted that I didn’t even put my hands in the pockets the way I intended on.
Got to the back and was out of those shoes before I was out the public eye. I love those shoes. They are so freaking cute and full of colorful butterflies against a white background w/solid blue stiletto heels. It saddens me that they were my problem.
But I threw those booties on quickly. I felt like I was putting myself back on solid ground. I put them on while I was being zipped into my second dress. Yes, this is comfort. I wasn’t even bending down.
Got back to the lineup and then back to my turn and my second stroll. I strut with all I could. I felt better. I felt my confidence come back. I felt like turning around and saying “yes bitches, I CAN walk, don’t get it twisted’….lololol
I got to the end with ease, walked back past the people with good feelings and hopped in the line for the final walk and did that with confidence all over again. It worked.
“these hills are too damn big”
Sometimes, the hill looks like it cannot be scaled. Like there is no way to get up or around it. Sometimes, it’s as simple as us defeating ourselves before we arrive at the competition. Either we train our brains to dream in negatives or we put ourselves in the line of fire and then expect to be able to compete with it. I put myself in the line of fire by not mentioning on DAY ONE that those heels might be a problem for me to walk a runway in. Had I said so, then they would have never been in my possession that day, never would have been a problem and I could have had three flawless walks back to back. Had I gotten some rest (sometimes, you just gotta live a lil tho), or woke myself up out of lazy-decision making mode, I could have brought with me better choices to walk in. I have 100 pairs of shoes. This was unacceptable. Oh vey, all the preventable problems we allow INTO our lives -_-
Finally and most importantly….COURAGE.
Courage is the difference between standing back, looking at the hill
Standing back, looking from the hill.
Courage means standing up to face the problem head on and not being afraid to confront it. Not being afraid to make a suggestion at how to get over it. Not being so over-confident that you fool yourself into believing you can do things that you can’t do. And let’s face it and be honest: There ARE some things that we can’t do, no matter what the reason why. That’s life. We can approach a lot of stuff w/a superhuman mentality, but that won’t work if the situation is impossible. Hills are tricky. Some are huge, some are small.
Some are tall while others are not up that high, but the arch is a killer. Some hills are steep with a slippery surface, others you aren’t afraid to put your foot on the ground and know you have a solid platform. Some are up on platforms that are ridiculous. Other’s need the platform in order to be a hill….some will hurt, some won’t, some will leave bruises and other’s will require a lot of concentration to make it beyond.
Not all hills are created equal.
And not every one can be scaled. …however, it IS ok to try. It’s ok to be confident in yourself and say ‘I can do this’…..that’s the only way you will learn when you can’t ! And when you can’t, there is NOTHING wrong with stepping back and altering the situation, if possible, to fit your needs…..mountaineers don’t climb Everest without the necessary equipment and spending weeks and months prepping for the high altitudes.
Not all hills need months of preparation, but every heel needs some practice.
Practice doesn’t really make perfect either, contrary to what you may have heard.
Practice simply creates a blueprint of confidence. Practice makes you able. Practice tests and shows you just how ready you are.
Yesterday, I practiced using my voice outside of poetry. I confronted every possibility I could think of happening if I walked in those heels….and I thought of what the solution or prevention could be. Once I decided that I knew the best possible answer, I spoke up and saved myself and the boutique and the other models the embarrassment of me being so prideful that I walked in shoes that made me look like I didn’t know why I was there. I did, however, give my best in the butterfly pumps, all while gaining a new life lesson:
Never be afraid to look a hill in the eye and make a safety request on behalf of the people, yourself included,
Get to climbing. <3