Digging My Heels In

Iryna Bondaruk (+Video)


Back in Ukraine, my home country, I used to wear high heels often—at work, on holidays, at family celebrations, and simply just for myself. They not only made me feel taller and thinner but also gave me a feeling of confidence and authority, which I definitely liked.
I bought this pair of red shoes for a special occasion, for the formal part of my marriage ceremony. In the store, they attracted my attention right away: shiny, red leather high heels that complemented my long, beige, custom-made dress accented with red, floral details. I felt that this wonderful pair of shoes would be perfect for many other occasions and look especially good with business outfits for work. So, when our family decided to emigrate, despite the limited space in my luggage, I brought them with me. I was so confident that I would be able to conquer new horizons in Canada in my fancy red high heels.
But when your new immigrant routine drags you more and more into the whirlpool of different household chores, obstacles, and limitations, it’s difficult to remember your initial plans, wishes, and hopes. Moreover, taking on a new round-the-clock job—the job of mother—demanded 100% of my time and attention. All these events in my life made me feel exhausted and helpless, caught in a vicious cycle.
How to find balance? How to figure out what I really wanted? It was a difficult time, a time of adjustment to a new life, a time for rethinking. I didn’t have time to put my red shoes on, even for myself.
On a few occasions, I went on vacation to my home country. Each time, I took back items that I had brought with me but didn’t use. However, I never wanted to take back my red high heels, as somewhere deep in my soul, I knew that their time would come.
Over time, I have learned that we can adjust to almost all new conditions: a new country, a new environment, a new lifestyle, new people. This happened to me. When my son became older and I found more time for myself, I started to plan my future. The picture of my career and growth became clearer to me.
I strongly believe that knowing what you want is the first step to success. I decided to follow my initial plan of developing myself and progressing toward my career path. I enrolled in a Human Resources program at a college. I wasn’t 100% sure about this choice, but I just decided to compare what I like with what I think I’m good at. Happily, everything I studied and did brought me a lot of satisfaction, so I am confident that I’m on the right track. I was lucky to graduate from college with honours and to complete my internship program.
My one disappointment is that I was unable to wear my red high heels to my convocation. Due to current circumstances in the world with COVID-19, we had it remotely at home through our screens. Despite these small obstacles, I’m not upset, as now, more than ever, I feel closer to my initial dream. I know that one day, I will reach my goal, become the specialist I want to be, and feel confident and powerful in my fabulous red high heels that will attract the attention of everyone. In order to pursue my goal, I will dig my heels in.

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