It’s a huge understatement to say that 2018 was a difficult year. I’m still processing all that occurred and frankly, in wonderment that I made it through. There were situations and events I’ve never experienced before that left me bewildered and grasping for whatever was solid and familiar for a moment of respite and comfort. Case in point, I did A LOT of thrift store shopping last year.
Losing my mom, dealing with another family member’s illness, losing more loved ones, and letting go of friendships and relationships while also experiencing joys of traveling through Europe, establishing new relationships, rekindling and strengthening existing ones, and deepening love for myself and others demonstrated the meaning behind a favorite saying of my dear departed friend, Susan, “And this, too.” A year full of unbearable difficulty also contained genuine joy and wonder, and a deep appreciation for the present moment. I learned how strong I could be and how deeply I could love.
I also learned that 2018 was a tough year for many people, and that I was not alone in my losses. Several friends lost parents earlier than expected, including my high school friend, Cathleen, who traveled 3,000 miles across the country to be with her family after her mother, Mona, passed suddenly before Thanksgiving. She recently shared a holiday story that had me in tears, both because I understood how she felt and also because I learned Tula in Bloom jewelry and I have an unexpected role in her healing process. I previously shared in an earlier blog post feelings of burnout and needing rest from making jewelry; I am thankful for the return of the joy and contentment I once felt in creating unique jewelry designs. Stories like the one below reinforce and deepen the gratitude I feel for the work I do, and remind me why I do it.
I’ve shared the meaning of the Unfolding Ring before; Cathleen’s experience with it is right on point and requires no additional explanation from me. I thank her for allowing me to share her story and invite you to learn more about her and her body love movement at fatgirlsdance.com. I also thank her love, Steffan, for being a rad ass dude worthy of Ms. Cathleen.
"'Trust in the Unfolding' is an ancient saying offering the notion that life unfolds as it will, and distress diminishes when one stops grasping to what no longer is and trusts in the process."
This ring is a wonderful reminder not just to trust in it, but how BEAUTIFUL that unfolding can be. When I'm not resisting, but ACCEPTING, flowing, not fighting the current... Even the pain and grieving is beautiful. In its own way. It means I loved and have been loved sooo deeply and authentically. And that's TRULY beautiful.
I don't always feel this way. A lot of days I'm just sad and MAD my mom is gone. But today. Today is beautiful.
Thank you Steffan for loving and spoiling me. (I hear there's yet ANOTHER gift! Can't wait to see!) Thank you Raveen because I KNOW you helped! Thank you, Omonivie Okhade for creating such GORGEOUS jewelry! And thank you, God, for divine intervention. I've ALWAYS wanted it, but The ring came to me at the right time. That time is now.
Happy Holidays, Everyone!
For years, I've been eyeing this GORGEOUS custom piece handmade by an incredible black jewelry designer from my hometown: Tula in Bloom. (Sidebar: it's after Christmas, but I'll say it anyway: #buyblack #supportblackbusinesses #supportwomenownedbusinesses )
Anyway, always wanted it, never bought it. Seemed too frivolous. My boyfriend hands me this box today with a huge smile (we are supposed to be exchanging gifts on NYE, but he was too excited), and BOOM. There it is. The Unfolding Ring. "Don't worry, it isn't an engagement ring!" He assured me, and I nodded, understanding, trying not to cry. Not just because I've ALWAYS wanted it, but because it could NOT have been a more PERFECT time for it to be in my life. Everything is changing. This year I lost a job, my mom, and some of my mojo and energy because of some injuries. Things are...unfolding.