Anyone who knows me can confirm that I live my life in a pair of black Converse. If I were to have a signature look, black Chucks would be it. That were what I was wearing when I touched down at the Brussels airport, but they won’t be coming back with me.
I am never kind to my Converse. From the day they leave the box, I wear them hard until they’re beaten down and broken in. When it comes to the black ones, I burn through a pair about every 8 months, and it’s time for a new pair. When it rains (and it rains here often), water seeps in through the ratty soles of my pair quicker than through the canvas. The rubber sidewalls have cracked and ribbed off, and honestly, it’s just time.
This is a goodbye and a thank you to the pair of shoes that have walked me through it all (pun intended). I’m excited to go home, but I’m a little sad to leave them behind. Although I already ordered a new pair that are waiting for me back in the States, I’d like to remember this pair a little more fondly than its predecessors. They were there as I grew confident in my French and as I grew into myself as an independent adult. Whenever I traveled, they were the only pair of shoes I brought with me. These shoes have hiked the hills of Budapest, biked the backroads of Utrecht, and had high tea in London. In these shoes, I turned Brussels into my stomping ground.
With these shoes on my feet, I flourished abroad. Part of me thinks it’s fitting that Brussels becomes their final resting place.
The other thinks I’m reading waaaay too far into all of this.