Value vs. Worth

As I've mentioned, it took a serious reckoning and embracing of imperfection in order to really get this project going. Ironically, now that I've finally gotten over my stop and start and have found the absolute joy in being able to celebrate jewelry and its stories, I've just lost one of my most treasured pieces. 

As any religious ring wearer knows, it's almost a rite of passage that you will absentmindedly leave one of said rings on a bathroom counter while washing your hands. Sheer panic sets in once you notice your oddly naked finger and go rushing back to the scene of the crime.

This happened to me this past week as I left a ring that I inherited from my grandma on the sink at work. When it dawned on me ten minutes later I rushed back, but the ring was already gone. I was upset of course, but it reminded me of this exercise in examining value and worth.

For a moment, I felt silly to be so distressed about the triviality of losing a possession when there are so many other things going on in the world right now, but it wasn’t the “worth” of the ring that I was upset about losing. I didn’t even know how much it was worth; I didn’t need to, I was never going to sell it. It was the value that the piece had to me that made me emotional. It was my grandmother’s and I felt connected to her every time I wore it, so in that sense it was invaluable.

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I was also upset with myself for being so careless, but as I’ve learned from the inimitable Lacy Phillips, life gives you lessons and tests when you need them the most, as if it’s giving you an audition to see if you’re ready to land that role you’ve been pining after. I put my intention out that I was finally going to honor the value of my ideas and my voice by sharing this contribution with all of you, as vulnerable as it may be at times, and the universe is testing me to see if I’m really serious by hitting me at the heart of this endeavor. So, I’m looking for the lesson in the loss.

The best part about starting this blog has been all of the spontaneous stories that people launch into about their favorite pieces when I tell them about my efforts to tell those stories. Similarly, those who have helped me look for this beloved ring have launched into their own stories of lost pieces.

One cherished necklace was thought to be long lost for years, until it was found during a move in the most unlikely of places. Another ring was left on the bathroom counter at a restaurant in Beverly Hills. Its owner was already halfway across the city when she raced back to retrieve it, finding it still safe and sound. And yet another wedding ring that was left and taken from a bathroom counter was anonymously mailed back to its owner with a heartfelt apology note.

I was also reminded by a friend of the “Hollywood” version of lost and found jewelry in the final episode of Sex and the City when Carrie dramatically finds her lost “Carrie” necklace in the ripped lining of her vintage Dior purse.

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Ultimately, there are many lessons I could take from this experience. Perhaps life is telling me to slow down, to be more deliberate and observant in the moment aka the of the moment “mindfulness.” And yes, I could stand to do all of that, but it’s also helping me to see that even though I will have doubts that my contribution matters, especially when I have 93 Instagram followers and it seems like my voice will get lost in the sea of blogs, the lesson is that people still want to have their stories heard and yes universe, I am still excited to tell them in my own unique way!

So, although I’ve been separated from my grandmother’s beautiful ring, all was not lost. I sent the message that I want to tell the stories of cherished pieces, and life has offered me an opportunity to pass a test and do that. And really, bonding with another human over a shared emotional experience is exactly why we’re all here right?

In the end, I have utter faith my grandma’s ring will find its way back to me, but in the meantime, I hope it’s shining bright out there.