Updated: Apr 23, 2020
Many people often ask me, how I got into making and selling jewelry so today I share how this came to be. In my previous post, I briefly shared the amount of responsibility I had taken on, entering into a lifestyle of adulthood at the age of 16. While most students my age were able to partake in various sports after school, I was limited to track & field due to scheduling conflicts with work. I wanted so badly to play volleyball and basketball, but I had greater priorities. I was, however, fortunate for the amount of support I received from my high school counselor who had connected me with a family that had agreed to provide me a place to stay until I graduated - God bless John and Sharon Shaw.
You may be wondering, why this was necessary. Without getting too far off track, my mother (at the time) was unable to provide me with a stable home environment. My well-being was at great risk and I could either suffer, become a ward of the state, or take matters into my own hands. I, of course, chose the latter. I had already been earning an income since the age of 14 and was highly ambitious. Emancipation was the most ideal solution within my circumstances.
I eventually moved into a place of my own at the age of 19 and one of the most memorable gifts I received was a framed quote by George Bernard Shaw that read, "Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself." At the time, I had no idea what this meant - even as I was already creating who I am today. Nonetheless, it remained with me until I began to comprehend the meaning and I no longer needed the reminder.
Creating has been a great portion of my self-healing journey. While I've always been a pretty crafty person, I grew apart from creativity as I focused my attention on the more mundane expectations of life - college, career, and hoping for love so that I could eventually start a family someday. All of which destroyed me and left me with nothing but broken pieces of myself - or of the person I thought I was. Just like the creation and evolution of life itself, destruction is often necessary in order to make room for creativity and growth. Destruction gave me the opportunity to take the broken fragments of myself to create something beautiful and meaningful which began when I started learning about the art of Reiki healing.
Reiki healing introduced me to an awareness of energy that flows through every living thing - even rocks. I found crystals, minerals, and gemstones to be very beneficial in my healing process and was fascinated by the different energies each stone could emit. At the time, I was a bit of an accessory hoarder and spent a great amount of money on buying eccentric statement pieces. Since carrying a variety of stones with me seemed to help with specific concerns, I figured it would be a great idea too actually wear them instead of carrying them around in a sack. This is how I discovered my passion for creating beautiful pieces of jewelry.
Customizing my own jewelry saved me money. The jewelry I wore had meaning and it felt good wearing energetic creations that I designed. Even greater, creating jewelry became my refuge during times of distress. Creating was therapeutic in a way that it took my mind away from negative emotions and replaced them with a sense of contentment for just being in the moment. All the thoughts that would consume my mind throughout the day would melt away and I would enter into a space where time did not exist.
For a greater portion of my life, it always seemed to me that there was never enough time in the day to enjoy leisure. When I started making jewelry, I couldn't wait to be done with work so that I could get to my crafting. This energy in itself attracted other creative people who encouraged me to sell my creations. I found joy in it all and making earnings from my creations was just an added bonus which kept me motivated to create even more. I kept this momentum going until what seemed important to me was no longer as important as what I enjoyed doing. What seemed important to me was causing the stress that would meet relief only when I was making jewelry.
This all shifted my perspective from my life-long routine of working hard to survive to allowing myself to experience life as I see fit because, let's face it, life is short. Creation is a blessing. How else would any of us be here? The way I see it, if I am made in the image of God, I am here to create - not to be enslaved by the demands of a culture conditioned to pursue power and wealth over passion.
Despite what any pessimist will try to convey, we all have a choice when it comes to what we pursue in life. Of course, all choices have consequences and so I guess it all just boils down to what we value the most. I value the limitless possibilities of creativity.