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.