I recently attended another Xchange event at The Ivy with a friend; the last time we were there together, it was to hear about what’s cool in design – and prompted my post on the definition of cool – and how it relates to jewellery.
Anyway, this topic was a very different one: the work/life balance (ha! choke, splutter, snort). Tips and tricks you can use to ensure that you are happy. Sounds simple doesn’t it? A lot of the advice was essentially, things you know you should do – but don’t. Like saying ‘no’ so that you have more time for yourself. Like learning to ‘receive’, as the speaker put it – which really translated to being a bit selfish.
The bottom line was that in the giving away of yourself – to friends, family, partner, work, children – you lose sight of who you really are. I believe this is an absolute, and I believe it absolutely.
That got me thinking about the different times in my life when I’ve worn jewellery that really ‘wasn’t me’. I have some beautiful pearl earrings that came with a matching pearl necklace; earrings are (still) fabulous, necklace not so much. The whole set actually, purchased from Linneys in Broome, was a purchase made in defiance of the boyfriend at the time. He advised against buying it but…having thought about these earrings for 4 days, I knew I couldn’t not have them. I diverted the taxi to the store as we were heading to Broome airport, and bought the lot. Put simply, I had my heart set on them and knew I wouldn’t find anything like these again. So with his words of ‘you’re crazy, what a silly thing to do’, etc ringing in my ears, I plonked my credit card on the counter and that, as they say in the classics, was that.
I now call them my ‘independence’ earrings (much better than the ‘up yours’ earrings). But the necklace…ahhh. It should have worked. It looked beautiful. But it just didn’t look right on me when I looked in the mirror.
And I think about some of the jewellery I’ve been given over the years: a pearl and garnet ring for my 16th birthday, a ruby and white gold ring passed down from my grandmother, as well as other examples – most of these have items have been gifts. You know the drill: you open the present and with a wonderful sense of anticipation, you open the jewellery box…only to realise that its contents are ‘not you.’ And you’re disappointed. Disappointed not only for yourself, but also for the giver – because they’ve tried really hard to give you a wonderful gift.
So what do you do? I exchanged the pearl necklace with a jewellery and it counted as credit towards my (self-designed) simple diamond studs. I’ve had the ruby ring totally reworked – it’s now a ruby rosette charm on my gold bracelet. The pearl and garnet ring is something I’m saving for my daughter.
How do you come to know what’s ‘you’ when it comes to jewellery? A very definite idea of colours, at the very least! A strong sense of self. And the courage to say ‘Thank you. I love the thought that has gone into this but…it’s just not me’ to the giver.
StyleRocks – in allowing you to design your own jewellery – is never going to mitigate these risks totally. But there’s only so much we can give you in terms of what suits you – you have to do the rest 😉