A few months ago, I received a new jewelry box. The beautiful gift came with a chore - consolidate my smaller jewelry boxes and sort through my jewelry collection. For those who don’t know me, I am a jewelry enthusiast. I own a multitude of earrings, necklaces, and bracelets, and I change them daily to coordinate with my outfits.
Looking at my jewelry was like looking through a time capsule. Of course there were the “regulars” - items I wear currently and are in constant rotation. But, I also re-discovered mementos and keepsakes from my childhood.
I found my first “big girl” watch - the black Timex that my dad purchased for me. No longer did I wear a watch decorated with a character popular with children; this was the kind of watch big girls wear. Along with the watch, came a lesson. My watch was to be worn on my left wrist, even though I was right-handed. It seemed odd to me, until my dad explained I would then be able to write and check the time simultaneously.
I found my “BF” pendant - the half I wore to declare my best friend status with my sister. Despite our current tumultuous relationship, I still own it, and plan to always.
I found my “Magic Potion” necklaces - purchased back when I was a middle school student. The necklace contains nothing more than colored water, but I always found it more fun to tell people it was a capsule filled with magic potion.
I found the bracelet my dad made for me - my dad, a former telephone man, used red and white wires to create a bracelet. I don’t wear it anymore, but it’s tucked away and brings a smile to my face.
I found the silver bracelet given to me at the conclusion of my second year of teaching - my students’ parents had all contributed to purchase the bracelet for me. It was a thoughtful gift from an exceptional group of students and parents - something that has never been replicated in the nine years since that event.
And I found my cameos. There is a cameo with a blue background that my mom gave to me when I was in elementary school. There are the cameos my grandma gave to me. One is large and has a pin on the back so that it can be worn as a brooch, and it has a hook at the top enabling it to be worn as a pendant. There’s a small one, also, that looks more worn, and I don’t know if my grandma wore it often, or who gave it to her. The cameos are beautiful, but sadly had been hiding away in random jewelry boxes. I think now that they’re more easily accessible in my new jewelry box, I’ll be wearing them more often.
I know jewelry falls into the category of “things.” And they are. But jewelry isn’t like a book, or a pair of shoes, or even a cell phone. Jewelry isn’t easily replaced. Most of my jewelry isn’t mass produced and can’t just be pulled off a shelf.
And all my jewelry has a story behind it; my life’s story.