Why it takes decades to learn to wear these shoes

by Tara Agacayak on May 4, 2016

Last week I posted a photo of myself on Facebook with the prompt, “What beautiful things are happening around Istanbul this weekend?” and in response, most of the comments were not about Istanbul, but about the shoes I was wearing in the photo.

For some reason, all people wanted to talk about were the shoes.IMG_1777


What’s funny is it took me decades to become the woman who felt like she was good enough to wear those shoes, or hire the stylist to help her pick them out.

This is me from over 10 years ago – before “the shoes”.



After that post, I was invited to write the story of the biggest lesson I’ve learned being a woman in business. And I think those shoes and my biggest lesson are related.

Because I had to learn how to be the woman to put those shoes on.

And I think my biggest lesson is that I’m glad I didn’t know how hard it was going to be … because I never would have started any of my businesses.

I never would have left the US and moved to Turkey.

If I had known I would face depression, fights, arguments, infertility, disappointment, emptiness, homesickness, isolation, loss, surgery, embarrassment, terrorist attacks,  or betrayal, the thought would have sent me running from the altar rather than into the arms of my love.

If I had known at the start of my journey that all of this darkness was to come, I would have said, “I’m not up for that, I’m not strong enough, there’s no way. I can’t do it.”

And the truth is, I WASN’T strong enough … then.

But I became strong when I decided that my desire outweighed my fear.

I became strong by being willing to overcome:

  • Depression by seeking the root cause of my mental illness
  • Fights by developing the wisdom to pick my battles and not start sensitive discussions when I’m hungry, tired or worn out
  • Arguments by accepting responsibility for my faults
  • Infertility by seeking what motherhood truly means to me and what it will take to become a mom
  • Disappointment by detaching myself from outcomes
  • Emptiness by seeking the path to fulfill my true desires
  • Homesickness by embracing technology and figuring out how to buy plane tickets even when I thought I couldn’t afford a postage stamp
  • Loss by mourning
  • Surgery by redefining healthcare
  • Embarrassment with humility
  • Civil unrest, corruption and terrorist attacks by learning about nonviolence
  • Betrayal with forgiveness

I almost didn’t get on the plane to Turkey fourteen years ago because I was terrified of not knowing how I was going to live so far away from home. Even though I was totally in love, I wasn’t sure I could make the distance work until my dad said:

“You can always come home if it doesn’t work out. But if you don’t go – and you don’t have to go – you might always wonder what you life would have been like.”

And those were the magic words.

Because I didn’t want to live with wonder, or worse yet – regret. And so I began my journey in blissful ignorance and a clear vision of the life I desired, even if I didn’t know how I was going to create it.

I have made it through the darkest of days listening to the whisper of my soul that says “more is possible for your life, you do not have to live with this suffering”.

And I have been guided out of deep holes believing that I would not have been given a desire if I were not also called to make it come true.

I have learned that when you hear the call and say yes, the path will unfold before you.

I have rarely known at the start of any of my business ideas knowing how I would make them successful, and I left many of them in various states of being. But I have started each and every one with the desire for freedom in how I live my life, run my business, and a heart that longs to be of service in the world.

People often tell me I’m brave, but I don’t feel brave.

What I feel is terrified.

Terrified that it’s too late, too hard, too expensive, too complicated, too frivolous, too massive, too outlandish.

But what I fear even more is not heeding the call. That even seems defiant.

And what I know is the more real I can let the dream be in my mind, the closer I am to figuring out how to make it happen.

The more willing I am, the more ready I become.

So going back to the shoes … if you could see the granny shoes (sorry grandma) I was wearing ten years ago, you would be able to see the transformation as far as who I’ve had to become to wear the strappy heels today.

It was a process of making conscious decisions about who I desire to be and how I desire to live my life and what I had to do or create in my business, in my lifestyle, or in my mindset that would allow me to become the woman who could put those shoes and feel they were the right fit.


Tara Lutman Agacayak photo credit Julia Forsman IMG_2123It was never about the shoes, it was about who I had to become to wear them.

It was not about the things, but about the experiences I wanted to have in my life.

The things only served to drive my journey – to allow me to have the experiences that shape me.



Is this my biggest lesson?

I don’t know, but it’s the one I’m living in right now.

Revel in the desire.

Say yes to the dream.

Trust the path before you.

I have comments closed on my blog, so if you feel the desire to react to anything here, I invite you over here to join the discussion, contact me, or set up a virtual coffee to have a chat.

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