Sometimes, a ring is just a ring. It looks appealing, so it gets purchased and worn a few times and then tossed aside. A big move and purge happens, then it’s donated to charity and sent out into the world of never-ending unwanted shit.
Most commonly, a ring is symbolic of feelings: love, honor, duty, commitment, beauty, loyalty, pride, fertility, purity, a closed circle, trust, power, control, wealth.
Since the spring of my 8th-grade graduation, I’ve worn a ring on my right ring finger. First, my junior high ring, which I begged my mom for. Then, my high school ring, which my mom helped pay for. The day I was able to order my college ring, I had grown more into myself and ordered the in-between size. I’d call it a unisex, or an androgynous size, but the nice lady from Texas A&M – Commerce called to warn me that it was too large for a woman’s hand and I should consider one of the smaller ones. “No thank you, this is the one I chose and want” I politely and firmly responded to her conservative concern. I’ve never been a dainty girly girl, and finally, I was graduating college and destined to move out of my hometown of 1000 humans. I was on the journey to becoming myself, and that ring was a simple and material representation of my past and future. I never take it off.
For almost 20 years, I’ve had a ring on that finger, and feel naked and exposed without it. I take it off for swimming and sometimes cooking. On my left hand, I’ve worn rings on my ring and middle finger, off and on for the same amount of time. When I was trying to fit in and grasp, and identify with, Christianity, I wore a James Avery ring with the fish symbol for a while. When I got one of my first bonuses, I took myself to Tiffany and bought myself an Atlas ring.
During some of my online window shopping a few years ago, I came across Silver Piston. Kick a** jewelry for people who kick a**. Steve West makes jewelry that says something, without saying anything. The ring that caught my eye from his collection is a simple & wide brushed silver band. I’d read about him, been following him on Instagram, read his backstory and reviews. He started making jewelry after taking a community education class on jewelry making, and the rest is history. He was working a desk job, which many of us do, and was grossly unfulfilled by it, which many of us are. With many late nights, his business grew and grew, until he couldn’t sustain both, so he quit his desk job. Who else wants that?! He is living the new American dream of entrepreneurism.
Once an exact year-long cycle was closed a few years ago, I ordered that ring for myself. It represented freedom, independence, happiness, self-love, self-respect, dignity and most importantly, going my own way. For all of my adult life, I’d been waiting for life to begin. I was waiting to find The One, then I could do all of the things I wanted. I’d spend all my energy and resources trying to force many relationships to work, when they were not supposed to work at all. I finally learned to let go of what’s no longer serving me, and this ring represents that overdue lesson. It’s a daily and simple reminder to stay true to myself, to make decisions that are best for me, because no one else cares about my life as much as I do. Did you get that?
No one else cares about your life as much as you do.
Our journeys often are intertwined with the journeys of others, and we must learn to navigate the river of life together, but we still are in our own boat with our own paddles at the end of this trip. This Silver Piston ring hasn’t changed my life, but it serves a larger purpose: to constantly remind me to continually make changes to my life. As I’ve embarked on new adventures and said yes to opportunities, changes continued to happen, growth continued to envelope me. And I like that.
“Every new beginning is some other beginning’s end.” – Green Day
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