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Finding My Direction By Looking Down

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Why all the feet pictures, Mandy?

Well, let me tell you.

ONE. I’m a long time and original fan of Friends. Remember The One With Ross’s Wedding? Remember how Joey has to stand on his map to find his way around London? It’s funny, but for some reason it just felt relatable to me. How the heck can any of us know where we’re going if we don’t know where we are? Now, I’m not saying that you need to physically stand on your map (though I’ve done it to make a point and get a laugh more than once), but I 100% appreciate a joke that reminds me to look down long enough to know where I am and point myself where I want to go. At the zoo, on the road, or in life, I’m not afraid to stand in my map, point myself where I want to go, and take a picture while I’m there.

TWO. Years ago I was a young stay at home mom whose husband was deployed, whose children’s health was fragile, and whose life or budget in no way allowed for a beach vacation. I didn’t (and don’t) blame a single person for cute pics of their perfectly pedicured feet on the sandy beach or lazily dangling from a hammock, but I did feel that nasty twinge of jealousy that everyone else’s lives were easier or more glamorous than my own. Then I realized that my sandy beach was a baby pool in the driveway and my lazy hammock was a second hand couch in my cozy little living room and that those moments were just as worthy of acknowledgment and thanksgiving. So I decided to be thankful for wherever my feet happened to be and whoever was there with me, and to take pictures along the way.

That, my friends, is why you see so many pictures of my feet. That is why I take pictures of my muck boots in the grass, my athletic shoes on a walk, my hiking boots on a trail, my bare feet in the pool, my slippered feet kicked up on the couch, and, sometimes, even my perfectly pedicured feet on the sandy beach or dangling lazily from a hammock. That is why my husband pauses patiently when he knows I’m about to snap a photo. That is why my daughter will be able to look back at her life in a series of pictures, give thanks for where’s she’s been, and point herself where she wants to go.


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