Sitting before my mirror, that foggy Tuesday morning, attempting to make myself look presentable for the school day ahead, I was completely ignorant to the events that would follow. I gathered my hair into a messy bun to keep it out of my face while I brushed my eyelashes with mascara and covered up the bags under my eyes, noticing how the pendant of my necklace had fallen out of place. As it slid across the chain back to the center of my chest where it normally lay, the light tugging of my fingers was enough to make the chain snap. And snap it did.
On my fourteenth birthday, about two years previous to that dreadful Tuesday, I received a simple golden box from my sister. Inside it lay a necklace: a dainty, gold pendant that revealed a sun, and within it, a crescent moon. It was accompanied by a note that still hangs in my room for my eyes to peek at every so often, reading, “Let your bright light shine. Make a wish and put on your necklace. Like the sun and the moon, you make the world a brighter place. Wear your necklace as a reminder that your spirit, your love and your light are my everything.” From the moment I received this beautiful gift, I knew it was something to be cherished. Few days went by when I did not have this necklace on. It became a sort of trademark for me. My sunny gold pendant gave me a form of safety, and I loved it dearly.
If ever I was bored, you could look over and see my fingers mindlessly playing with the chain, smoothly gliding the pendant back and forth over my chest, like a figure skater dances on ice. When deep in thought I held that sun and moon close to my heart, as if it helped me process the thoughts on my mind. At times I caught myself rushing through life at such a quick pace, and as I placed the pendant to my lips, I was reminded to take a deep breath and appreciate the things surrounding me. I didn’t expect this gift to hold such value in my life; however, as time went on I fell deeper in love with my necklace. It became a crutch for me. I turned to it in order to fill whatever aspect of my life needed extra attention.
The day my necklace broke was the day my heart shattered. Months went by, the necklace constantly on my mind. It was strange taking on life without it. The constant reminder that it was no longer hanging around my neck was unbearable for a long time, as my fingers habitually traced my collarbone, in search of the pendant. I face life each day knowing that the broken chain lay in my room awaiting the tools that could mend it, but I’ve realized in these painful months that I needed to learn to face life alone, to not rely on a shiny piece of jewelry to help me through the day. There’s nothing faulty about depending on something; it’s quite incredible actually. I recognized however, that I had failed to experience life on my own, and at a crucial time of growth nonetheless.
This decision to not get it fixed right away was something I struggled with for many days, for it was a difficult decision, and I knew I had to be careful in the ways I handled it. There was more than just my feelings on the line. Each day it sits next to me, I force my heart to grow numb so I don’t have to miss it anymore. I attempt not to yearn for it, but seeing it lay there as broken as I, makes it difficult.
My necklace was a beautiful gift, one that reminds me of a relationship I once had. Similar to my necklace, I loved someone fiercely, but there came a time that I had to let him go. He was not only a light for me, but he was the person who challenged me and encouraged me to be a light for others. Each day I went journeying with him through life, and my necklace was almost always along for our adventures. Much like the reminder that my necklace gave to me, his spirit, his love, and his light were my everything.
As the feelings began to pile up that maybe I should no longer be with him, I grew fearful. I realized how badly I wanted the freedom of being without out him, but I craved his warm embrace that offered the comfort and security he brought to my life. I am just like any other human: searching for love, but I found it sooner than I expected. As a freshman in highschool I was unprepared to experience love so in depth and because of this, felt dissatisfied sticking to what I’d grown so accustomed to in the past two years. I had always imagined my high school years to be full of spontaneity and various experiences that would define who I am as an individual, but being in such a stable and committed relationship made this difficult. My heart is still being pulled in different directions because I have no “yes” or “no” answer to these feelings. I am forced to sit uncomfortably, awaiting an answer that I expect to appear out of thin air. Maybe one day it will.
I am learning to be content with the fact that I need time on my own before I ever fix my necklace.
I am learning each day, to sit in my discomfort, that it is okay to feel this pain.
I am learning that in my discomfort there is strength and growth.
Trial is inevitable in life. The sooner we recognize and invite pain into our hearts, the sooner we can process and grow into the best possible versions of ourselves. Humans are stronger than we may think. We are resilient, and just like broken bones, broken hearts can be put back together too. It just takes time.