On Shoes and Self-Doubt

Blogging Lifestyle

Several weeks ago, cabi reached out and asked if I’d like to attend The Scoop.  A twice-annual conference for cabi stylists, The Scoop offers trainings, an awards ceremony, and a fashion show to introduce the new season’s collection. A week after I agreed, they asked me if I’d like to be their featured influencer for the event, which would include filming a video to introduce the video of the fashion show on their website and on Instagram. Oh my goodness would I; what an honor! I’ve been a fan of cabi for many years; not only do I like the style of their clothing I like the concept behind the business and all the good they do (read more about cabi in this blog post).

The two looks I ordered from the Fall 2017 cabi Collection.

So a few days before my trip last week, I receive a big box from cabi with clothes to wear to the event. One outfit from their spring collection to wear to the fashion show, but also one brand new fall look to wear for the video shoot. Since the Fall 2017 Collection wasn’t yet online, I made my clothing selections based off a scanned lookbook of a few outfits. I wasn’t sure how things would fit so I asked for two outfits and a shipping label to mail back what didn’t work. My past two weeks at work have been so busy and had so many high-pressure and priority events I didn’t have time to open the box and try the clothes on until Wednesday night, the night before I was flying out. One outfit was just too big; the other one fit but it was far more fall of a look and needed fall shoes and hosiery. All my tights were in the attic, and none of my shoes looked quite right. I decided to just do black pumps and suck it up. There just wasn’t time.

Thursday I worked from home until noon, and then only had two hours before I had to leave for the airport. I frantically shoved all the cabi clothes I owned and a variety of shoes in a suitcase, freaking out about what to wear to the airport. Then at 12:15 packages arrived on my doorstep from the mail woman: part of my purchases from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale (reviewed in this post), and a box from Aerosoles. Aerosoles liked my post where I featured their wedge sandals and reached out and offered to send me some shoes. In the box on my doorstep were a couple pairs including these low-heeled pumps in purple.

I put the purple suede shoes on with the Lydia Blouse and Standout Skirt and Karl walked in the bedroom and said, “Yes, those are the shoes.” They were fall feeling, but looked okay with bare legs. They were a pop of color, but not so much it looked comical. The style was conservative but not frumpy, a good balance for the mix of wild patterns.

But not only that, they looked great with the travel outfit I had put together, really making the scarf pop. I had already packed my suitcase, so I switched out my travel shoes for these new Aerosoles shoes so I’d have them in Tennessee for the video shoot. As I waited for my Uber to take me to the airport, Karl captured a few photos and you can see these purple shoes in this outfit post.

By time I reached my gate at the airport, I was hobbling. While my toes and the bottom of my feet were happy and comfortable, the backs of my heels had rubbed against the shoes and left me with monster blisters. I went to a Hudson News and bought a tiny overpriced tube of cortisone and a pack of Band-Aids and went to work. Three Band-Aids on each heel made the shoes wearable all the way to my hotel room, but there was no way I could wear any shoes that touched that part of my heel for the rest of the weekend.  Rookie mistake, I should have broken in the shoes while wearing socks. But I’m no rookie. I was just in such a rush and worried too much about what other people would think of my style that I forgot my style skills.

The next morning, dressed in Spring cabi with my fall outfit in a bag, I headed to the location for the shoot. I wore my Naturalizer sandals which were a fun pop of color with the navy suit I donned and one of the two pairs of shoes I brought that didn’t cause pain. I just kept them on when I switched to the fall look. They said don’t worry, they wouldn’t film my feet. I had my hair and makeup done, and went out to do the video shoot. They all said the shoes actually looked cute, and may do a full body look for the video. I was so nervous I was happy to get such reassurances and we filmed my two video spots. I then immediately went back and changed out of the fall clothes so they’d remain a surprise until after the fashion show.

I got home Saturday late afternoon, after a flight delay and a bit of a panic trying to find someone to let me in my house (I forgot my house keys and Karl and Emerson were at a birthday party).  A couple hours later, the videos came out and with the one for the website (above), full body shots showing my shoes. Sigh. I wish I had sucked it up and wore the purple flats even if it made my heels bleed. I wish I ordered a different outfit that worked with shoes already in my closet. Ugh, strangers are going to wonder why cabi chose a blogger who can’t even pick a decent pair of shoes. Not only is she chubby and old she has no style.

Like so many of us do, I missed the good aspects of the experience and focused on the negative.

While I went to bed Saturday night thinking about my shoes, I woke with a fresh perspective.

The difference between bloggers and models is we are the whole package. We’re the model, the buyer, the stylist, the hair and makeup crew (though for this event I had help), and the marketing team. For our blogs, we’re the photo and video editors, the graphic designers, the copy editors, the social media gurus, the business development team, the contracts department. While doing all this, we’re often wearing other hats – mother, employee at a day job, side hustle selling something or creating something or helping others achieve their entrepreneurial dreams. We’re scheduling photo shoots between conference calls, editing posts when we should be sleeping (or doing laundry, or cooking dinner), scheduling social media while having our one free moment alone in the bathroom.

I woke up thinking how incredible it is I survived this past week. I kicked ass and took some names and the only scar is on the backs of my ankles. I did great at the day job, and great with the blog. I do well under pressure, and this was a week of pressure but it was exhilarating and pushed me past my comfort zones. And if the only thing I regret is my shoes? Well damn girl, that’s pretty impressive!

We’re always our worst critic. As a blogger, it’s super hard because we open ourselves to criticism from strangers across the globe without a staff to protect us and boost us up when we’re down. But as Kimberly Inskeep, the President and Chief Culture Officer of cabi said at the Scoop fashion show, what could we accomplish if we didn’t worry what other people thought?  The theme of The Scoop was Be Fearless; Inskeep’s inspiring speech discuss fear – her fears, other cabi staff’s fears, and how to overcome them.  And a big fear discussed was worrying about what others think.

When we release the weight of other people’s opinions is only when we can truly fly.

I learned a lot from my experience at The Scoop, and it was far more than just about the cabi Fall 2017 Collection.  Sometimes life hands you little lessons to give you perspective and get back on track.