My toes are webbed. There, I said it. My toes are stuck together like the webbing on a duck’s foot (and no that doesn’t make me a better swimmer to all you smart asses out there). This is something that was the bane of my existence for so long, that even today it’s scary as hell to say it out loud or write it on paper.
When I was little, my feet didn’t bother me. In fact, I didn’t even know that they were any different. It wasn’t until grade school, when one of my peers told me exactly how different they were.
‘Ugly’ was the word he used. My feet were ugly and for some reason that word stuck and in my head it started to make sense.
So I did everything in my power to hide them, cover them or avoid them from that day forward until recently. I wore socks in the summer, skipped slumber parties in middle school and never wore shoes to high school dances that exposed more than a tiny bit of my toes. It took me years to allow some of my very best friends to see my feet because I was so afraid they would laugh or call them ugly. People can be very mean.
My feet crippled and stifled my confidence, which is something that, even today, I am working to repair.
After my birthday last year, I decided better myself so that I can be better for the people I care for around me. I have decided to love myself, and that means ALL of myself, so that I may love those around me more completely.
It has been a challenge because there are definitely days that I still look at my toes with something resembling disgust, but then I remind myself that they are mine and, although they may not be pretty or perfect, they are the only ones I’ll ever have.
I still get funny looks from people, occasionally, when they see my toes. I can’t really blame them, because I hated them for so long too, but now I know that I definitely don’t need that negativity in my life. I just move on, shrugging my shoulders, because I deserve better. I need to love myself unconditionally, webbed toes and all.