My Shoe Essay

My New Pair Of Shoes Essay

"Settling into a new country is like getting used to a new pair of shoes. At first they pinch a little; but you like the way they look, so you carry on. The longer you have them, the more comfortable they become." - Tahir Shah, In Arabian Nights

I moved from the Philippines to the U.S. in 1994 with my friends, leaving my entire family behind. It was one of the most significant decisions and events that have changed my life, my character and the way I think about things.
I grew up in a conservative, close-knit, and deeply religious family. My parents were overprotective of their children. Being the youngest of seven kids, it was really hard for my parents to let me go. I was the baby in the family and had no experience living on my own. All throughout my younger life, my parents provided me with everything, from emotional to material support such as food, clothing, allowance, housing, school fees etc. My parents put so much emphasis on education. They wanted me to focus on my studies, graduate, then hopefully find a good job and help the family in return. We were neither poor nor rich, but we were comfortable.
Philippines is predominantly Catholic. My mother, being a devout Catholic, molded us to become a good Catholic as well. We prayed every night together and went to church every Sunday. I was educated in a Catholic dogma. I was taught to obey and to agree to the Catholic teachings.
After graduating from college and finding a job, I felt the need to live independently. At the same time, I wanted to help my family. I was curious how it is to live on my own; however, my income during that time could not support the idea. In addition to that, it is in our culture for the children to live with their parents until they get married. It was considered disrespectful to leave the family home soon after graduating from college and finding a job. The only reasonable and acceptable way I could think of back then, was to get a job outside the country. Thus, I could be on my own, experience a different kind of life and culture, and provide financial support to my family as well.
Finally, my dream came true. At the age of 24, I was on-board the plane to the U.S. I had mixed emotions leaving my family and the country where I had lived all my life. I was so happy and excited, but sad and scared at the same time. It was my first time to ride a plane, first time to live outside our home, and to travel outside the country. I would be moving to a different part of the world with culture, language, people and climate unknown to me. I would be on my own, no family to support and guide me. But because of my goals and my desire to experience a different kind of life, I shrugged away my fears and uncertainty.
The first year of my life here in U.S. was full of challenges and pains. I was missing home a...

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1Someone once said, you don’t really know a person until you walk a mile in their shoes. Whoever said this must have met many a person like me. Where one’s shoes have been and what they have done can give you a great deal of insight into a person. I think my shoes reveal a lot about me—not only my everyday activities and hobbies, but the events that have shaped my inner self.

2If you closely examine my shoes, you’ll notice many things that connect me to what I do. I am an artist. You may see a speck of paint that fell from the brush as I worked on my latest still-life oil painting. Or you may notice a fair amount of clay, a result of my aggressive wrestling with the medium on a potter’s wheel.

3Also evident on my shoes is my major on campus. I’m a Meat and Animal Science major, and my shoes bear full documentation of my involvement in this program. The shoelaces are frayed from the sheep that chew on them while I work in the barns. The leather is marred from the hooves of animals stepping on my feet. If you’re unfortunate enough, you may find something in the treads that I accidentally stepped in.

4The exterior of my shoes can tell you a lot about what I do, but they also can provide clues to who I am and where I have been. I have always been an explorer and traveler. My father says that I was born under a wandering star. My shoes have been on my feet for many of my spiritual and physical wanderings.

They’ve walked up into the Alps, across the cliffs of Ireland, and through 14 countries. They’ve been on numerous backpacking trips throughout the nation and on hikes in the northern Wisconsin woods. They’ve been witnesses to archeological digs and rowing regattas. They were on my feet the day I took my first hike with my fiancé and the day we took the walk that ended in his proposal.

5So you can see my shoes have been through a lot, and they’re beginning to show the wear and tear a bit. They’ve been witnesses to my everyday adventures and the epic journeys that have shaped my life. You could learn a lot about me by looking at my shoes, but you could learn a great deal more by walking a few miles in them.


“A Mile in My Shoes” is a speech of self-introduction based on a personal object. Clearly organized and effectively delivered, it provides a fine example of how students can approach the introductory speech creatively. The ideas of the speech are fairly ordinary, but the manner in which the speaker expresses and communicates those ideas lifts the speech well above the ordinary.

Specific Purpose: To introduce myself to my audience by explaining how my shoes reveal my everyday activities, my hobbies, and the events that have shaped my inner self.

Central Idea: My shoes reveal that I am an artist, a Meat and Animal Science major, and a wanderer and traveler.

Introduction: The introduction consists of the first paragraph. The speaker gains attention by opening with the old adage about walking a mile in a person’s shoes. She moves from the adage to note that one’s shoes can reveal a great deal about a person. Crisp and concise, the introduction leaves no doubt about the topic of the speech or the major points to be covered in the body.

Body: There are three main points in the body of this speech, each of which reveals something different about the speaker. The first tells us that the speaker is an artist (paragraph 2). The second tells us that she is a Meat and Animal Science major (paragraph 3).

The third tells us that she has traveled a great deal, has participated in activities from rowing regattas to archaeological digs, and is engaged to be married (paragraph 4). Conclusion: The speaker concludes in paragraph 5, in which she summarizes the major themes of the speech and provides a sense of psychological unity by referring back to her opening line. Here, as elsewhere, she chooses her words carefully and communicates them extemporaneously.

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