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)