Friday, August 5, 2011

High Heels & Flip-Flops

I wait for it every year without fail, usually right around the beginning of October – the snarky Washington Post Express column, someone's random blog missive, or a scathing reader comment, each poking fun at those of us who dare to continue wearing our flip-flops into the fall season. And I laugh, because I am without a doubt one of those people.

Born and raised in Southern California, I practically lived in flip-flops and flats until I moved to DC after graduating from college six years ago with a degree in journalism and an obsession with public affairs. But from the very first day I set foot in the halls of Congress, it was easy to see that this place ran on high heels. And not the small kitten-style heels I was accustomed to when I did dare to take the plunge, but sky-high pumps to complement the polished pencil skirts and posh power suits that seemed so new to me, a blue collar girl, the first in my family to earn a college degree.


Since what was classy in California clearly wouldn't fly in a place like this, I begrudgingly perfected a penchant for heels over my next five years as a congressional aide by wearing them when it was necessary, learning to stand for long periods throughout hearings and to stride confidently down the marble hallways without teetering. I took each blister as a sign that I was fitting in, a part of the East Coast club, and viewed my sore toes as an indication of my ultimate success in this exhilarating new world.

Still, no matter what, my favorite part of the day was when I would return to my office and plunge my tired feet into trusty flip-flops, which were always waiting unfailingly beneath my desk to sooth me, comfort me and remind me of the place I will always consider home.


A lot has changed throughout the years I’ve spent in DC. I met and married Stephen, the most amazing man I’ve ever known, who is also a native Californian. I’ve traveled, written, learned and discovered a passion for weddings by creating my first blog, Bicoastal Bride.

Image Source: Alex Neumann Photography
Having achieved my goals on the Hill, I left the halls of power behind following the 2010 election cycle to focus on pursing a master’s degree in publishing while also continuing to write and maintain my involvement within the wedding industry. Even though I don’t have to wear high heels as often anymore, every once in a while I take them off the rack and slip them onto my feet, remembering the journey they’ve been a part of, the journey that’s still ongoing, and the journey I hope to share with you here.

I remember once reading the expression that it’s the journey, not the destination, that really matters. I believe this completely, and find inspiration in the world around me every day, whether it comes to food, fashion, fitness, travel, career or any of life’s many adventures. In short, I'm on a mission to live a positive, meaningful life to the fullest, whether East Coast or West Coast, in high heels or flip-flops.

Thanks for reading and joining me for the ride! 

16 comments:

  1. Great post Heather!

    How sly of you to comment as Heather over at Dual Coast in order to lead me over here. You knew I'd dig it!

    Looking forward to more. I hear ya on the flats. I experienced the same issue while going to school in Manhattan. Now I just wear chucks! ;)

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  2. Yay, congrats on the new blog! Looking forward to following all of your new adventures over here :)

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  3. I love this post and I love the new blog! I'm excited that you're back and I can't wait to keep reading :)

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  4. Congrats girlie! I did't know Stephen was from CA... so you guys went to DC just to meet and fall in love, I know it! :o)
    Glad you're back!

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  5. So so happy about the new blog!

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  6. Amazing first post!! Can't wait to read more!!

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  7. Congrats on the new blog! Looking forward to it all! xx

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  8. Love it! Welcome back to the blogsphere, and thanks for the shout out on your savvy reads side bar!

    Coming from Wisconsin, we have a much shorter flip flop season, so I can appreciate wearing them well past their "proper" season.

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  9. congrats on the new bloggy blog! :)

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  10. I love it! congrats on the new blog and welcome back!

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  11. Ahhh, flip flops and high heels, two of my favorite things!

    Looking forward to reading your new blog!

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  12. hooray for the new blog :) i enjoyed reading your story and am looking forward to reading more.

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  13. Love this! Can't wait to read more!

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  14. Yippee! I am totally a flip flops girl too... and I will never understand the teachers who can stand all day in heels! My respect for learning to, but props for going back to your roots :)

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