This may be the worst lead paragraph I ever write.

If 2018 could have been summed up for me in two items, it would be grief and anticipation. Grief because in March, the world turned upside down. Oxygen got sucked out, cabin pressure was lost. I still haven’t found the right string of words to put all of that together in terms of what one death signified for the year but we’ll get there. Trust me, we’ll get there.

Grief, combined with the aspect of jumping into a brand new job with far more financial flexibility called for something drastic to occur. In order to process, I had to dive into something else. A new vice, a new thrill. I didn’t drink heavily or smoke. But I knew what I would do, I’d buy sneakers.

I’d previously scanned online about my select picks of shoes for 2018. I had limited the choices to three as buying shoes online had become its own maze to navigate. It was easy, the Jordan III “88,” the Jordan 12 “Taxi” and the Jordan 13 “He Got Game.” Those were supposed to be the only three kicks I copped in 2018.

Then dad passed.

Van Sk8-Hi

Death and running away from it with one eye towards it pushed me into updating my fresh. I wanted to stunt and feel the zeal of being “that guy” in the office.

So three soon increased. Over the past 12 months, the initial three shoes I wanted instead turned into two pair of Vans Sk8-Hi’s copped the Saturday after I finished my first week at work. Then the III’s came via the Sneaker Summit location off Shepard. Same for the Taxi’s. Soon after I would add the black Cement 3s because as a kid, your friends would consider the “Dope Boy” kicks to be the Jordan 3s and Jordan 4s. I thought I would be done there, hold off until 2019 or at least until the He Got Games dropped in August.

I wasn’t. I didn’t.

Sean Wotherspoon’s Nike Air Max 1/97 to celebrate Air Max Day

On a whim to celebrate Air Max Day, I copped a pair of blue and purple Air Max Ones, ideal for summer and in case I ever decided to slide through All-Star Weekend. Two days later, the Wotherspoon mashup of the Air Max 1s/Air Max 97s popped up on SNKRS. I entered the raffle thinking I wasn’t going to win.

I won, effectively annoying the hell out of my barber in the process. He still asks about those shoes to this day.

May made me chill for a second yet it still wasn’t over. A pair of black Nike Huaraches in honor of the Fab Five soon made their way to my closet. Same for Pusha T’s adidas EQT’s. In June, Travis Scott dropped his Air Jordan 4 “Cactus Jack” and it had to happen. If I already had a Warren Moon jersey, the Scott’s had to match it.

Air Jordan 4 “Cactus Jack”

By then it was official, I was the resident Jordan head within the office. Every day I could do something I couldn’t as a kid, rotate out sneakers every single day. The “Sand” version of the Air Jordan 12s would round out my summer collection and not long after did the Air Jordan 33s and the Concord 11s join them.

That’s well over $2,600 to $2,800 in shoes by my estimation. 15 new pairs of sneakers in a 12-month span. Apps, in-store, knowing somebody who knew somebody. It became a chase, an obsession to achieve something like it. Not the financial spending, that’s a foolish goal to shoot for. Rather, the idea that certain things and items that were denied to you were denied because you weren’t ready for them yet.

As for a favorite shoe of 2018? It may be the Cactus Jacks due to the color scheme and swapping of a rubber upper to suede. The Free Throw Line 3’s are a definite second though. Grail worthy, even.

But that’s life with a sneakerhead. You have favorites but ultimately, you love them all. Because you wear your sneaks. They become a part of your mantras and daily habits.

Air Jordan 3 “Free Throw Line”