I cleaned my jewelry box the other day. I did it because every time I lifted the lid I met with confusion. Tangled chains and broken earrings overflowed the box along with outdated costume jewelry. It was time to remove the old and make room for newly acquired pieces.
As I began to sift through the jumbled accumulation of discolored odds and ends, I found myself recalling the situations that surrounded certain pieces. Three items in particular caught my attention and caused me to reflect on several events of my life that led to years of introspection.
A once useful watch given to me by my parents for high school graduation had represented a new freedom and excitement when it was new. Time to be an adult! Now I
could get a wonderful job and fill my hope chest, I had thought. That was fifteen years ago and as I held the worn-out watch in my hand, I could still feel the eager anticipation I had felt believing I was ready for life's challenges.
I also remembered the bitter disappointment of my first attempts at job hunting, the boring clerk's position I accepted and thinking, "Is this all there is?" As I was handed my diploma at commencement, wasn't I promised success and a fruitful career? Something was missing, and what I didn't find in the job market I was sure I would find in married life.
Not quite one year after graduation, my biggest dream was realized. Marriage and a thin gold band represented security, everlasting love, a home complete with a flower
garden and well-behaved children with angelic faces. I ore the ring less than three years. When I took it off I felt confused, betrayed and alone. I had never thought about being alone or given a...