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Power Heels

by Laura McGinnis

Laura is a retired project manager from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, finding new life as a writer. Her writings explore life as a woman in the early years of the Technology Revolution, her forced retirement, and the joy she is finding in this new stage of her life. Her work has been published in Poetry Quarterly. Drabble, Spillwords, and The Ginger Collect. Additional work is online at mrswoonsocket.wordpress.

Power heels - that click-click sound your shoes make as you're walking down the hall. It's the sound of competence, composure, control. It's that feeling of self-satisfaction, self-awareness, and self-appreciation. When you're wearing power heels, you're driven to do your best, to be your best, and to succeed.

I remember the first time I noticed my power heels. I was coming back from a business trip. Ours was the last flight into the airport that night. 150 weary travelers disgorged from the Airbus and made our way down the concourse to baggage claim and home. Dragging my roll aboard suitcase behind me, I felt and heard the click-click of the heels of my dress shoes on the tiles of the concourse. I was coming back from a successful business trip. My meetings had gone well, and my ideas had been well-received. I was in a good place, mentally and emotionally. And my feet translated that positivity into a rhythmic tattoo of my feelings of success. With each step, I could feel the power of my victory, pulsing through my feet, up my body, and I to my heart and my head.

You don't need to wear your heels to feel the power of power heels. Power comes when you succeed in what you are doing, whether it's running a board meeting or a marathon, finishing a grant proposal or the laundry. Anytime you take the obligations of life by the horns and wrestle them into submission is a power heels moment. You might find power heels sitting on your couch, writing, or volunteering at the soup kitchen. Power heels are you and where you make a difference.

The thing about power heels is that you know when you've got them. You walk a little taller, a little prouder. There's almost a strut in your step. There's a confidence in yourself that nothing can diminish.

Power heels feed on themselves. The more you're aware of them, the firmer your steps become. The stronger your metaphorical ankles, the sharper your figurative toes. The feeling of power heels pervades your body. You are, and you know you are, invincible.

Men, it seems, have always had power heels. For much of the history of shoes they have had the actual heels, as well. Heeled shoes were first worn by Persian warriors to hold their feet in their stirrups better. Heels later became de rigor among men in the French court, and the height of the heels indicated social status. Eventually, women began appropriating the style and men stopped wearing them. By the late 18th century, heels were associated with femininity and a woman's supposed sense of impracticality and extravagance. In Britain, high heels and other cosmetics were banned by parliament in 1770 as tools of witchcraft. Now, in the 21st century, heels are the purview of women, and no longer bear the stigma of evil, although they've kept the aura of sex appeal.

But power heels is all about attitude and not about footwear. You can have power heels in sneakers, in flats, even in fuzzy bunny slippers.

Power heels are a key to unlocking the shackles of imposter syndrome. Power heels tell you, and everyone around you that you are smart enough, brave enough, and strong enough. Luck doesn't enter into it - you succeeded because of who you are and all that you can do.

Celebrate yourself. Wear your power heels with pride, even if they're soft-soled pumps. Walk tall, walk proud, walk with confidence.


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