after a little bit more than a week here in ireland and so many new routines slowly building, i’ve been thinking about how often i switch up life. which led me to another thought…there is something pretty magnificent about our daily habits.
with so many things to wear, to do, to say, and to think in this world, when there is something we do everyday without fail, that something has to be pretty monumental. like many people, it’s not my daily activities that are always the same but it’s jewelry, the 2 rings, that i wear everyday that mean the most. it’s the 2 rings that i wear everyday that stay constant regardless of where i am living, where i am working, or who i am with.
1. on my right ring finger, i wear a simple, silver claddagh ring that my parents gave to me on my 16th birthday.
for many irish and irish american families, this ring is pretty common. this ring symbolizes many different meanings, but most widely known is that it represents whether or not your heart has been taken. when the heart points away from you hand, it means that your heart is free. when the heart points towards your hand, it means that your heart is taken. my sister became very fascinated with our irish roots when she was in high school. i’m not completely positive where she discovered that it was a tradition for girls to receive this ring from their parents on their 16 birthdays. nonetheless, we adopted this fun tradition. on her 16th birthday she chose a gold claddagh from our favorite irish store in sonoma and on my 16th birthday i chose a silver claddagh from the same store. my 16th birthday was spent with my then boyfriend and family and i remember how proud i was when i opened the ring and wore it with the heart facing my hand. i was madly consumed with my high school relationship and loved the feeling that i was taken.
and of course, cue the breakup. once all ties were cut and after that terribly terrible period when breakups are messy and complicated was over- i took off the ring. i didn’t wear the ring for at least a year. i don’t know if i was embarrassed that i had to turn the ring around or if it just hurt my heart too much to look at it turned around- or both. now looking at my ring, with the heart pointing out, i am proud at how i’ve grown. i experienced heartbreak in high school, at such a young age, but it allowed me to grow as an independent person. i know now that i will never be so consumed with someone else that i’m not okay being alone. and this ring doesn’t remind me of the fact that i’m alone, but it reminds me of the fact that i love who i am.
2. on my left middle finger, i wear a beautiful gold chained band that i received for my golden birthday from my parents.
my family has always been good at cherishing certain traditions and making life extra fun. when i would tell friends that my “golden” birthday was coming up, most of them would cock their heads to the side and say “huh?” i didn’t realize not everybody knew that we also have an extra special birthday once in our lives. i was born on january 20. therefore, my 20th birthday was my golden birthday. now during this time i had just started my first real, full time job at the hotel in coronado. i was working at least 40 hours a week and wasn’t able to get home to northern california for the holidays at all, let alone be able to spend my birthday with my family. luckily, last minute there was a schedule change. i had three days off in a row and i jumped on the first plane to san francisco. i spent two days at home and had to fly back to san diego on the night of jan. 19. my dad, my mom, and me all had dinner in the city before my flight and enjoyed amazing sushi. while we were waiting for our food, my dad pulled a tiny blue bag out of his jacket for me.
i decided quite awhile before my birthday that what i really wanted was a simple gold ring. my mom and i had looked at a few stores but i fell madly in love with a ring from tiffany and co. my mom and i both drooled over how beautiful it was but moved on knowing it was a little pricey for us. but i figured at least she had an idea of the style i liked.
but inside that tiny blue bag was the tiffany’s ring my mom and i had been salivating over weeks before. it wasn’t that fact that the brand is popular or that ring was expensive. the fact that my parents completely surprised me and that my mom knew how much i adored that ring made it all the more special. i know life isn’t about material things, but it is nice every once in awhile to get to own something you find extraordinarily beautiful and it’s even nicer when it reminds you of people that you love.
if you’re lucky enough to have jewelry that means something, you’re lucky enough