Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Marking the Occasion

I have a bit of a tradition where I buy myself a piece of jewelry after major life events. Sometimes, I do it to cheer myself up, and sometimes it's more of a commemorative keepsake. Regardless of the motivation behind it, though, every time I wear the jewelry I think about what I've gone through or accomplished, and what it's done for my life.
The first time I did this, I had just graduated college. I wasn't really a class ring kind of person, but I wanted something to remember my experience by. Since my birthstone is a sapphire, and I've always loved them, I chose a really simple sapphire pendant (that I have since replaced the chain of, but still wear all the time). I love having that memory and thinking of it every time I wear the necklace.

The next big life moment for me was my feeding tube surgery - and this is why I say sometimes it's to cheer myself up. I've shared about getting a feeding tube here before, but to make a long story short, it was an incredibly stressful and fraught decision for me, and one that I resisted for a while. So after I went through with it (and felt much better!), I bought myself a sapphire ring as a reminder of... all of it. Of going through the stressful time, of making a really tough decision, and of coming out stronger because of it.

Which brings me to my grad school graduation! This was a huge moment for me - after being a part-time student for over five years, sometimes it felt like I was never actually going to graduate. (In fact, when people asked me, early on, when I was going to graduate, I often answered with "never.") It was just a very long time to be in school for a masters, especially because I kept getting older while the incoming students did not! So finishing the program felt like a really big deal, and something I wanted to acknowledge.
I think I originally heard of Edge of Ember because it's a brand that Meghan Markle has worn before - but as soon as I started browsing their website, I knew right away what I wanted to get. It's called the "Journey Charm," which I just thought was so fitting, because my time in graduate school did feel like a journey. It has a compass design on it, and to me, it was really emblematic of my life over the last few years. It's felt like things have started to come together, and I've been following my gut (a compass of sorts, if you will) to figure out how to take everything I've learned over the past few years and move forward to the next step on my journey.

I love it so much - I've barely taken it off since it's arrived! And I know that it's something that will always remind me of my time as a graduate student, and what I've accomplished.

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