If there is one aspect of my style that will never change, it is my love for high heels. I can’t explain the surge of energy it gives me to strut down the street, hearing the incomparable click-click rhythm on the pavement, and seeing heads turn as I pass by.
Even when I went to a school with an elevation of 3,333 feet and there was a foot of snow on the ground, I always sported a pair of kicks with a little step. Needless to say, I was often ridiculed and declared insane, but to this day, I feel out-of-my-element when I don’t have some heels on my feet (I think they’ve grown accustomed to the curve).
I may regret the decision to wear stilettos when I get older, but for now, the strength they “give” me, either metaphorically or literally, is something that helps boost my confidence and morale.
Sure enough, this self-assurance via Jimmy Choo has shown through my love life, too. Every man I’ve ever dated has told me they loved the way I walk. I’ve always taken it as a compliment and appreciated that they took note, but it never quite mattered to me what they thought. Wearing heels or hearing their click has never been about attracting the attention of a man, but just a fashion that I thoroughly enjoy just for me.
While I think part of my walk was just hereditary (I have a smokin’ mom), some of the way I got the swivel down pat is by listening to girl-power tunes while strutting. Without even noticing, I get a little more attitude in my step and I feel more confident when I have some buds in my ear. Anytime I’ve been down about a guy or my looks, I download an empowering song and strut-it-out. Somehow, the beat and the you-go-girl themed lyrics seem to lift my spirits, even when they are at an all-time low.
In fact, I have a playlist on my iTunes called “High Heels” which I always put on as I walk out the door and again when I get off the train to go somewhere. The songs in this collection give me the beat I need to battle the streets and “walk-it-out” before facing the day.
Because step 4 is about digging deep inside of myself to see where my obsession with love originated, I’ve been thinking a lot about past relationships and how I’ve dealt with them. And while I’ll go into detail about each one in posts to come, I’ve noticed a central theme of what’s helped me to recover: music.
Seems simple enough, but part of recovery (from a breakup or from having a day when you feel so ugly you could die) is finding simple ways to escape, regroup, and reenergize. For me, certain songs and artists do the trick for me.
In celebration of the dedication to honesty I’ve recently adapted, here is my “High Heels” playlist, straight from my iPod (without deleting anything, so no judging). Try downloading a few and please add your comments of ones that have helped you:
Sexy Chick by David Gruetta ft. Akon
If this doesn’t make you feel sexy when you sway your hips, what will? I mean, damn girl!
Born to Fly by Sara Evans
The words could be more perfect – “I’ve been tellin’ my dreams to the preacher about the places I’d like to see….is there a brown-eyed boy in my future…girl you ain’t got nothin’ but time!”
Short Skirt, Long Jacket by Cake
I have, in fact, worn a mini and a trench while listening to this song. Yep.
Right as Rain by Adele
I’m a big jazz fan and this has a jazzy-feel to it. Plus, it’s perfect when you’re just done with a relationship and you’re getting over someone. “Cos’ when hard work don’t pay off, and I’m tired, there ain’t no room in my bed, as far as I’m concerned. So wipe that dirty smile off – we won’t be making up, I’ve cried my heart out. And now, I’ve had enough of love.” (After being pissed, though, please do believe in love again, k?)
American Boy by Estelle
It’s this song that I picture myself as a fierce European woman using an American boy as a playmate. And it says “New York” in it, so I’m hooked by default.
Suddenly I See by KT Tunstall
When I interned at Cosmo, as I walked from the subway to the Hearst tower, I listened to this song and marched in my red high heels. The words remind me of myself, “And I feel like walking the world, like walking the world. And you can hear she’s a beautiful girl, she’s a beautiful girl. She fills up every corner like she’s born in black and white…looking from the pages of a magazine…”
I Don’t Need a Man by Pussycat Dolls
This is a recovering love addict’s theme song: “I don’t need a man to make it happen. I get off being free. I don’t need a man to make me feel good, I get off doing my own thing. I don’t need a ring around my finger, to make me feel complete…”
See the World by Guzmo
I stole this from one of my mom’s CDs and fell absolutely in love with it. It’s more of a happy tune then a beat-boppin’ tune, but it’s about seeing the world, finding yourself, and then of course, finding someone.
Good Life by OneRepublic
If I could pick one song to represent how I feel about living in New York, being a 20-something finding herself, and learning to love today for what it is – this song would be it. Oh yes, it is going to be the good life.
Gives You Hell by All American Rejects
This is for Mr. Curls, Mr. Faithful, Mr. Rebound, Mr. Buddy, Mr. Fire, and Mr. Idea when this blog turns into a book, which turns into a movie. Just sayin’.
Walk this Way by Aerosmith
I picture myself in a catholic school girl outfit, dancing on a bar with my girlfriends while cute boys watch. Don’t ask why, I just do.
Fergalicious by Fergie
Actually, in my playlist, it’s called “Linds-a-licious” and I encourage you to do the same with your own name. Fergie always makes a point to spell in her songs, but girl’s got the best single-gal songs, ever.
Do You Believe in Magic by The Lovin’ Spoonful
This was given to me by my friend, R, who is one of the happiest individuals I’ve ever met. When you listen to it, you just gotta’ smile.
Candyman by Christina Aguleria
I think of a very attractive man, who probably isn’t quite my type, but we have this amazing chemistry and we’re flirting. I may also be wearing very red lipstick.
Labels or Love by Fergie
In honor of Sex & the City (I won’t deny I’m a fan), this song embodies what it’s like sometimes to be single and struggling in the city. If I had the money, I would be even more into this song.
Rockstar by Rihanna
No, I can’t sing. I can’t play the guitar. I’m not very…hip. I played the piano a decade ago. But, yes I’m a rockstar. And so are you.
Dynamite by Taio Cruz
How can you not walk fiercely when you listen to this song? It is absolutely perfect for picturing you and your “crew” going out to the bar and not looking for anything but a good time.
London Bridge by Fergie
Oh snap! Why is it that every time you come around, my London Bridge wants to go down? And who knew it was called a London Bridge. I think I’d rather have a more New York term…every time you come around, my Big Apple wants to go down? Hmm.
Can’t be Tamed by Miley Cyrus
Well of course I already feel like I can’t be “tamed” per say. While Miss Miley may be a little risqué these days, I still dig her music and I’m not ashamed of it.
Empire State of Mind by Jay-Z
When I think of this song, I think of my best friend L and I dancing at this crummy little bar in my college town a few weeks before I graduated from college. As we were dancing, she said, “I can’t believe you’re really leaving!” And even though I was sad, it was then that it really clicked that I was. It’s surreal to listen to it and walk through the streets the lyrics talk about, FYI.
The Middle by Jimmy Eat World
It’s an oldie, but a goodie. It couldn’t be truer, either: “It just takes some time, little girl, you’re in the middle of the ride. Everything, everything will be just fine. Everything will be alright.”
Any Man of Mine by Shania Twain
Dear future boyfriend or husband (or just fling, if I so decide to have), please listen to this song and realize this is how I feel. Ok?
Click Flash by Ciara
This song, as I’m walking down the street, I pretend there are paparazzi following me, taking pictures and that I’m famous. I also pretend my clothes are designer. Lame? Yes. Gratifying? Yessss.
Faith by George Michael
Not only is this fun to sing along to, but the words are powerful. Yes, we want to go home with certain guys and throw our hearts to the wind (and maybe I will one day), but you have to stay true to yourself, too. And more than anything, you have to have faith in yourself and in the process.
Hey Girl by OAR
There is one sweet love song on my High Heels playlist. When I close my eyes and I imagine the type of man I will end up with (and now dreaming doesn’t hurt as much), I think of a guy who would sing these words to me. Free but loyal, talented but centered, passionate and fun, but humble. And of course, adores me.
Just Dance by Lady Gaga
For a while, this song reminded me of Mr. Idea and his dance moves, but now, it just shows me how much I have to keep the steps going and try not to lose sight of today, when I’m looking for the finale. It will be okay.
New Soul by Yael Naim
Move to a big city. Check. Find a job. Check. Find an apartment. Check. Make a ton of mistakes. Check. Learn from mistakes. Check. Find peace and love in herself. In progress.
One Step at a Time by Jordin Sparks
If you have high heels on, you can coordinate the clicking at the beginning of this song with your actual heels. And listen to the words, all very encouraging. So close you can taste it…but it’s all one step at a time.
Unwritten by Natasha Beddingfield
Well, I’m a writer. C’mon.