No, it's not my picture, but it could have been.
Shoes, specifically Nike sneakers have been my obsession for as long as I can remember. From the time when I was 9, as a boy overlooking the stained glass outside a Nike Stadium store, as only an admirer and dreamed of having enough money to scrounge up some pairs.
I did when I was 14. My energy and efforts were dedicated to saving up enough money, and figuring out ways to hustle so I can purchase the latest architecturally-designed and technology-infused sneaker in the market. It wasn't just a piece of fashion for me. Since I was 12, I studied sneaker design, theory and technology from the long-gone Kicksology.com and then begot my knowledge from the underground secret society known as NT. My passion for shoes is one of the things I cared for the most, and truly one of the things that I immersed myself in.
60 some odd pairs later (some still deadstock, some barely worn, and some driven to the ground) thousands of dollars spent collectively, many people met along the way including some of my designer heroes in Eric Avar and Ken Link, connections built through this sub-culture, events attended as a recognized VIP (at 14, I was the youngest to attend sneaker release parties and hidden exhibits in SoHo), a different pair worn everyday in high school (people can attest to this), and most of all, time spent dedicated to nurturing my further erudition of sneakers, here I am now a new person, far from what I had been.
I matured. I grew up. I'm just now realizing that I am now leaving it behind. I still love them, and still have tons of information stored in my head, from designers, to its evolutionary lineage (yes, it's that serious), to their names (naming every shoe up in that picture will take me about 60 seconds).
I was not one to flaunt my "collection," simply because it wasn't one. I would hate to label myself as a collector. I purchased shoes because I loved them, not because I felt like it was on obligation of mine to obtain some. I didn't carry on this passion as I went to college, only carrying with me a few pairs, and barely ever wearing sneakers. It's just something we grow out of, and all this post is about is that I am admitting it. I witnessed a change in me, as I saw how I am parting from the passion that I once had.
Not to mention the costs; I'd rather buy college books with that money.
So here I am, boxes upon boxes, shoes upon shoes, and they're all just sitting there. Best idea would be to sell them to make some money back, but I'd rather give them away to my younger cousins when the time comes.
It was undeniable passion. One of a kind love. Sometimes, we just grow up.
Don't get me wrong, I still love them but it's just not the same anymore.
The good years of sneaker fetishes are behind me. Time to let it go.