Thursday, 27 February 2014

"My Master's in the yard, giving life to the unaware..."

For some reason, I've spent the last couple of weeks roaming around in a reflective haze... drifting amid nostalgic clouds in the sky and being rudely interrupted by thunderous bouts of reality. It's been both pleasant and mildly annoying. 

One of the memories seeping into my conscious stream of thought was that of a ring (no, not my Precious...); but a ring that I had made using the 22k gold bangle I had inherited from my Grandmother when I was around 21 years old. My grandparents (like most people's grandparents here in SA) grew up quite poor (partly because of Apartheid, partly because it was Post-World War and all that shit) so they never had much to leave to the younger generations, hence only one 22k gold bangle. 

And back then, I loved jewelry. I still do... but gosh, sometimes I forget how much I loved jewelry. I even had my own impressive collection of gold... a hobby I spent a lot of time, effort and money investing in. 

So at that time, I thought that I would take this Bangle to a Jeweler and have a ring fashioned out of it... that way, I reckoned, at least I'd wear it instead of housing it like a relic in the safety-deposit box. Not long after that, I traipsed off with a very specific design in mind (no, nothing like my Precious...) it was a simple, 15mm thick band with a large solitary cubic zirconia embedded in the center (because, hello, I couldn't afford 5 carat diamonds and cubics had to do). 

And I loved this ring. More than anything else I owned. I wore it everywhere, everyday. Everyone I knew complimented me on it and in my own way, I felt like I finally owned something of value... something that I valued. 

A few years later, I moved to London and in my first week there, the ring was stolen. And I was absolutely devastated... for many reasons. For one, it meant that the one thing I had left of my grandmother was gone. I was way too emotionally attached to it, but not so much for sentimental reasons; but because it became a part of me, a possession... and also because it was pretty and shiny. So in a warped sense, I felt like I had been robbed of my identity. 

Looking back a solid 10 years later, I can confidently state that losing that ring turned out to be one of the best things that ever happened to me. Because see, I didn't realise it at the time, but what the ring came to symbolise was a false sense of status... a precedent that couldn't have continued in order for me to become who I am today... a lifestyle that I've ceased wanting years ago, a lifestyle I no longer endorse and have even come to despise.

The truth is that 10 years ago I was a very materialistic, selfish girl and all the decisions I ever made were based on how I could benefit from the situation. And in a way, that ring cemented who I was. Losing it, and the chain of events that followed afterwards, forced me to re-evaluate everything I came to believe up until that point. In hindsight, it gave me the opportunity to lose my old self... to form a new identity... to begin anew... to cast off the chains and shackles I had placed on myself in keeping with other peoples beliefs and expectations of who they thought I should be. 

Suffice to say that the girl I was a decade ago, and the woman I am today, are two completely different people. I realised at some point that the mere fact that I was alive meant that my Grandmother would continue living through the eons... that her connection with me didn't cease to exist because I was no longer in possession of the ring made with what was once her gold. 

These days I no longer possess any real gold... all my jewelry is (proudly) the fake stuff. And while I love beautiful, shiny things, I don't have a need to own any of it. My hobbies now consist of collecting stamps, coins, postcards, stones and sand from different countries... most of which have absolutely no real value whatsoever. A decade later and I'm so completely un-materialistic that it's difficult for my mind to reconcile who I was with who I am today. I don't place any emotional value on anything I own, and I am prepared to lose whatever I do own. Most importantly, my self-worth is no longer placed on the value of what I own and I am a much better person for it.

Here's the thing... money, things, and even people will come and go. What matters most is what remains of us when they leave... what we own doesn't define who we are. 

I've changed so completely in the last 10 years that I'm both somewhat anxious and curious to see what will become of me in the next decade. Whatever happens, I know that I will survive and learn from it, God Willing.
Blog Title:~ Live "Overcome"(Video)

36 comments:

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    1. What, cat got your tongue @Blue?

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    2. No my azure ego said, "Quick, you fool! Or you're not gonna be number one... ever!"

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    3. You have quite a sense of humor on you Blue :)

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  2. When you were around 1 years old.... so a couple of years ago you mean? I wish I had an impressive collection of gold. Does my heart count too, I wonder. "A false sense of status.." I know what you mean. Lots of things seem to be false these days - well, in my book - but I might be drawing this conclusion because I might be a solid ten years older than you, and you know what slightly older folks like to moan and groan about, right, cous? (No will do just fine)

    You're gold. Enough said. I need my beauty sleep.

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    1. @Blue - and you have a heart of gold... there's nothing better than that y'know :)

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    2. Something tells me that type of gold isn't necessarily worth a lot. But I'm blue.

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    3. Erm, Blue-Gold? Surely that is a rare commodity :)

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  3. What a beautiful post. I think I'm finally getting closer to the maturity level you're already at. About 5 years ago, I lost 1 opal earring that's from my late mother. These were earrings I wore every day, and I'm now much less devastated than I was when the material loss was still fresh. I frequently wear a matching ring (also from her), and hope losing it or having it stolen wouldn't mess me up too much. But it probably would, at least at first.

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    1. @Roving Retorter - Thanks for the compliment... I find that detachment to be difficult but necessary, since we own things - they shouldn't own us :)

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  4. Great story. It's not the things but the things that happen. To be honest, I value postcards and letters from people and have a box which I call a 'Happy Box' stuffed with nice words and fun times from the pat. When I go into it and re read the little paper things I've kept, it make me smile more than anything material I own.

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    1. But I'm still wondering, Jules... She didn't say she knows the perfect therapist in Bora Bora, now did she? Jules, how come she knows the perfect therapist in Bora Bora? Did she go there without hiding us in her baggage um... luggage um... super Bora Bora trunks? You know, when she was still materialistic and a professional gold worshipper?

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    2. @Juliette - I too, value my friends more than anything I own ;) And I love writing letters.

      @Blue - I think you're just digging holes... you'd be the first to know if I ever get to Bora Bora :D (actually, all of you will probably be with me)

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    3. I needed to hear that. :)

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    4. She did! She did! But I KNOW she wouldn't go without us Blue :) Maybe she's doing a bit of a reccy innit!

      NB: Despite how non materialistic we become, we are still going to Bora Bora, five star, full on. That's allowed as it's a life time experience.*

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  5. You're so right, of course, about things. About how they grab a hold of us when we grab a hold of them and don't let go very easily. How it's easy to say - ooh I want this and this and this and this and forget about everything else besides trying to get those things. I'm trying a lot harder to focus on maximizing what I already have instead of trying to just get more. Because the more monster is always hungry

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    1. Spot on @rooth. I was just watching something on TV and the guy said "the more we get, the more we want... and when we get what we want, we're often only happy for a minute, before we want more"... a vicious cycle it is.

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  6. oh, what a brilliant post. there is so much in there to comment upon. that everything happens for a reason. that we are more than the sum of our parts. that we are more, often less, than what we own.

    I still am materialist, but in a very different sense. I don't collect stuff any longer, but I collect experiences and conversations and emotions. a different kind of obsession that I can't quite place yet...

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  7. Azra, we'd like to invite you to become one of our Authors in Alexandria. This invitation has been extended to you by email as well.

    In addition to posting on anything you wish, as you desire, you may of course mirror posts you've already written from here or elsewhere to gain a different or additional audience or for any other reason that appeals to you.

    If you think you might be interested, contact me through Alexandria or by return email via this comment and I'll forward our formal invitations for you to look over and return if you decide to proceed.

    Come contribute your perspectives and opinions to the ongoing conversations there or, even better, start some new - and different - ones of your own.

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    H. M. Stuart
    Alexandria

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  8. Apparently diamonds are NOT a girl's best friend?

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    1. They are LL, if they come for free and don't cost us a pretty penny ;)

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  9. Wow, how you've grown! Colour me impressed... :)

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    1. Thanks Prixie - I have a feeling I still have a ways to go :)

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  10. Lindo mensaje para madurar las cosas materiales no tienen importancia cuando se tiene un gran corazòn,abrazos mi querida Azra

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  11. Te sigo para tenerte màs cerca y leer tus lindos mensajes y escritos que valen la pena,abrazos fuertes mi querida Azra.

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    1. Usted es demasiado amable mi querida.

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  12. This is a wonderful post. My favourite part is knowing that your connection to your grandmother continues. Our memories are powerful thing and I would not trade the memories of my grandparents for all the money in the world.

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    1. Thank you Birdie. I wonder what future generations will have to say about us :)

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  13. ah Az so nice post and I had a nice connection with my grandmom (she cooked amazi.g) and she die when I was so young but always I feel she is with me through my life!
    For other hand you are a believer you really believe in God (me too) and this is an special road Im sure He will show you your own road.

    We have a song that say" Somos eternos caminantes en busca del camino...and you know spanish:)
    un beso

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    1. Mi querida Gloria... sí entiendo. Gracias :)
      Besos xx

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  14. You are in great mindspace :) I always feel like our old personas would get quite the slapping-around from our present day selves.

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    1. @SaalehaIB - I feel like there's no point to living if we can't evolve into better versions of ourselves. You can't imagine how many times I cringe and want to die when I walk down Nostalgia Lane ;)

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