If you see me wearing socks, which I’d rather not be, they’re always pink. I could tell you that it’s a great conversation starter, or that it’s hard to be upset if you look down and see neon pink, or even that it simply eliminates one choice I have to make each day. This is all true but these are all reasons I discovered afterwards. The actual reason I started wearing pink socks is simple; they inspire me.
In the early summer of 2012, after my cousin and her son were murdered, I had felt lost. After a bit of grieving I convinced myself that I was going to use this tragedy to drive me, to better myself and those around me. Basically, to be more like her. Easier said than done. To keep me motivated I wanted to have a reminder of her with me at all times. I began brainstorming ways to make this possible. I didn’t come up with pink socks initially, my first solution was a tattoo.
That summer, while backpacking throughout Southeast Asia, I would spend time on various commutes trying to think of the perfect tattoo. I was debating between a melted ice cream cone, two people walking and swinging a child in the middle, or the silhouette of one of her dance pictures. I didn’t end up using any of these, it was a couple months later when I found an idea I loved more than all of them.
The fall of that year I was back home for Thanksgiving. I was rummaging through some of my belongings that were collecting dust in my dad’s basement. I wasn’t really looking for anything, just reminiscing of times past. There was a roughly 3′ x 3′ paper star hanging on the wall on which various friends, teachers and family had written congratulation messages on the day of my high school graduation. I was reading some of the messages, a few funny messages stood out amongst the typical good luck in the future. I came across a chain of bubbly written letters in the middle that read “Remember the good times…” followed by Hayley’s signature. She signed her name with a heart attached to the front of the “H.” My eyes had welled with tears as I finally knew what my tattoo would be.
My tattoo is all black ink, so while getting it I was thinking about colours. Hayley LOVED the colour pink. I couldn’t think of a way to incorporate it into the tattoo so I had to come up with something else. Clothing. Pink shirts or pants would be too visible to wear everyday, whereas underwear would not be visible enough. Socks on the other hand would be perfect. I ordered six pairs of ankle socks, and one pair of knee highs from American Apparel when I got home.
My tattoo and socks are little reminders of Hayley that help me every day. Help me to focus on solutions when problems arise, to always find something to be grateful for no matter how negative a situation feels, and to always try to improve the lives of those around me. I don’t know if you’ll remember me, but I bet you’ll remember my pink socks. Hopefully they’ll help you smile too.