Wednesday, 24 October 2012

My Elephant Necklace

I haven't written a blog post in a significantly long time, and a contrast of exam pressure and longing to write isn't a good combination. So I've settled for the latter and sparked an idea to blog about.

Somewhen around last year I was shopping with my friends in a busy city. It was around winter-ish time as I recall, and my friend exclaimed that she really wanted to look at the jewellery market stalls out on the street.
Reluctantly and lothargically I followed in tow, not really amused at the thought of being bitten by the cold weather outside for a pair of tacky earrings which she'd surely forget in a day or two.
However, when we reached the stalls I was almost impressed. The jewellery on display took me aback. It was chic and unqiue (pardon the rhyme), and I was instantly drawn in.
There was a woman behind the stall who jumped at the chance of lecturing us customers on her masterpieces, but I didn't mind, she seemed genuinely nice. To this day I still remember her appearance. She was a tall, slender woman with long brown dreadlocks and a camoflague jacket. She also wore a purple ankle skirt with beaded pumps. She had a few facial piercings and the many studs on her ears twinkled like Christmas bulbs on a tree. She gave us a toothy grin as we looked around her stall. My friend had her heart set on a pair of peacock feather earrings and bought them instantly, whereas I wasn't looking for anything. I fumbled round the back of the stall whilst my friend payed, and suddenly spotted a little row of carved necklaces. There were about two or three on display; each hanging from a thick black woven string. The carved pendants were white and pearl-y. I touched them gently and savoured a look at each one.
My friend glanced round the corner as she put on her new earrings.
"Oh, they look nice." She exclaimed, and started to finger the texture of the pendants herself. I immediately got defensive and told her I was thinking of buying one.
"I don't really wear necklaces, but they're nice." I said, transfixed on one particular necklace. It was a little elephant with a carved out trunk and horns. I slowly took it from the wrack and tried it for size, a perfect fit.
I paid the slightly deranged but nevertheless lovely woman at the stall £5 and left with a wide smile as if I'd earned the necklace which I cradled in my hands.

As I type this I am looking down on the elephant necklace which still hangs round my neck. I expected it to break one day and for my neckline to be left naked and bare once again, but it's held up tremendously.
The necklace has seen me through good times, lucky times and happy times. It's also been worn in bad times, anxious times and terribly upsetting times. I see the elephant as a symbol of strength, and not necessarily physically.
I am often worried or nervous, and it only takes a glance at my necklace to reassure me that I'm strong and 'I can do this'. When I am particularly upset, I clutch it tight and close my eyes. It's truly amazing how it hasn't broken yet.

I'm sure there are many of you out there who have your own little keepsake or special charm, and to be honest I never thought I'd have one. I'm not supersticious about it or crazily in love with it. It's just a small token which means a lot to me, and provides a sense of comfort and security. It's something I hope to hold onto forever. 


Thursday, 4 October 2012

Music And Me

For me, music acts as a sort of sanctuary.

Today, I have had a particularly hard day, from which I retired home exhausted. However, to my amazement, after listening to only a few songs on my iPod, I was ready to tackle ten pieces of homework, and even finish off some coursework laying around my dishevelled bedroom.
Those few songs happened to be 'I Will Wait' by Mumford and Sons, 'Summer Paradise' by Simple Plan, 'Call It What You Want' by Foster the People, and 'A-Team' by Ed Sheeran.
The contrast of melodies between these songs is undeniably obvious, but the unique rhythms and catchy tunes made me mentally buzz at the prospect of homework.
I danced around the house for a couple of moments whilst my dogs watched on in amazement, and I was thankful that there was no-one else present to witness the sheer volume of my mad outburst.

For this reason, I am thankful that I can appriciate music in it's true form, and I take it's effects for granted sometimes. I am often motivated by some drum and bass whilst running, or relaxed by some indie tunes whilst unwinding. Music can often enhance or change your mood.
For example, if you're a woman and you've just suffered a terrible break up, the last thing you're going to want to hear is any Jason Mraz or Ed Sheeran.
No, you're going to want to hear some motivational, heartfelt songs by strong, independant women like Kelly Clarkson or Christina Aguilera.

And if you're on the way to work, you really don't want sleazy some song echoing through your ears about failure and being down in the dumps. No! You're going to need something upbeat, something to put a smile on your face and a spring in your step.

See, when you really analyse the music you listen to and why it can be a real journey in discovering who you are as a person. I myself don't have a particular preferance in music genre, I'm partial to most things apart from hardcore rock.
I was brought up heavily surrounded by the work of Elvis, Michael Jackson and Madonna. These are my mother's favourites and even to this day there is not one song of theirs I don't know off by heart.
But when it comes down to it, I love Ed Sheeran, as well as the bands I previously mentioned, along with a bit of Drake and Michael Buble.

I add (with slight embarassment) that for me, there's nothing better than a Christmas song, no matter what time of year it is. I constantly have Michael Buble and Mariah Carey's Christmas albums at hand, and the festive feeling seems universally uplifting to me. Mad, I know.

In conlusion, I don't know where I'd be without music. And it wasn't until today until I realised what an important role it plays in my life, and other's lives as well. I bet there are millions of people who have once walked down the road and it's poaring with rain, you're soaked through. It's been a tough day and you're listening to the most depressing song on your playlist, and ultimately feeling like you're in a music video.
I'm glad I'm not the only one...