When Jaime's story was submitted to me via the Legacy Campaign, I loved reading how special it is to her that she owns sentimental pieces from her family. She has also shared an image of these with us, which you can see at the end of this post.
I am also very attached to my own personal jewelry collection that has either been curated or gifted to me, and I am honored to add to Jaime's growing collection of life's important moments.
Jewelry has always been a huge part of my life and it carries many special memories of the women in my family. It's a badge of strength, hope and beauty. Jewelry is the only way I can remind myself of the love that has always surrounded me. We only invest in beautiful quality jewelry and never throw anything away. It is passed down through generations.
On the Day I was born, I was gifted a ring that says "love and hope" in French (but also spells my name Jaime = love). I wore the ring on a chain for years until it finally fit my ring finger. 29 years later, I still wear that ring. It's become apart of me. I twist and turn it as a habit when I need comforting.
The ring fits my ring finger and sits below a gold double heart initial ring my grandfather gave my grandmother on their first date (M + R). True love at first sight.
On days I need strength, I pair my rings with my grandmothers gold watch (given to her by her parents on her graduation day, loving inscribed with "love mom and dad") and a very special garnet ring purchased at the world fair in 1939 by my great grandparents. To remind myself of bravery, I wear a necklace with my grandmothers garnet heart charm and a gold charm that was given to me after my first time ever having to do anything in front of audience. At age 5, after being a genie for a dance recital, my mom presented me with a charm that says the date and "genie" to remind me that I can do impossible things.
You better believe those items are worn when I'm walking into a huge board meeting, surrounded by older men in suits. I feel the power and have my family there with me to do the impossible.
It was hard to pick one thing, (I still have my eye on the Lucky Star ring!) but I felt immediately connected to the Duality Star and it actually came into my life at the right moments as I'm in the middle of many life transitions (getting married, going back to school!). It is a physical (and gorgeous) reminder that there can be two meaningful sides, past and future, to one thing. I like the idea of matching the outward stone to how I'm feeling that day!
Shown below is Jaime's personal collection, her badges of strength.
I think of collecting jewelry as a beautiful discovery of oneself. And, when you collect mindfully you can create a powerful narrative, regardless of age. Once jewelry has found its place in your heart, you may savor a lifelong love affair with the wondrous treasures of our earth, reminding you of the roads traveled, and what lies ahead. Therefore, I am delighted to celebrate Emily, a recent high school graduate, with a Legacy win to begin her collection.
Emily overcame personal challenges in school, rising to success. I am honored to help her commemorate this journey with beautiful everyday jewelry to use as a reminder of her dedication, and how far she has come. Emily decided to choose a few smaller pieces, for an instant collection! See, smart girl ;)
Now, I will let Emily tell you in her own words ...
Everyone wants to have a fantastic legacy. For me, I am just starting out on my journey in life, so there are many things I strive to have as part of my legacy; fairness, leadership, being a positive influence on others, and helping teach kindness and compassion through simple every day acts.
Jewelry for me is a reminder of times past, and times to come. My collection grows, and I grow with it. I have been fascinated with jewelry since I was 5, which was when I found a lost engagement ring on the playground. Ever since then, jewelry has been in my life.
My lucky star guides me. My lucky star charm necklace has become an everyday piece for me, reminding me to look to the future, and to always see the positive side of things. I named her Evangeline, which means "bearer of good news," in hopes that good things will come my way. She shines above my sentimental bear charm, named Blackberry, who reminds me to stay humble and grounded in life.
Two other pieces I received from Alexis were a gray moonstone ring and gray moonstone earrings. Those pieces remind me that sometimes, true beauty is hidden. Not everything is always apparent, so they are a reminder to be vigilant in uncovering the truth and reality of a situation.
This giveaway has changed my life. I will forever be humbled that I have won, and I will always be reminded to pass luck and good feelings on whenever I can. Alexis is a role model of who I would like to be someday; someone who loves what they do, and who loves the people around her.
Ali choose these beautiful one-of-a-kind Chrysoprase earrings to adorn her Legacy. She won them in last year's AK Legacy Campaign and I am honored to share her very personal story of strength with you today.
I will let her tell you in her own words ...
When I sent in my Legacy Story, I was really insecure about sharing a part of me that makes me feel weak. Almost 3 years ago I was the victim of a violent crime. A man came up to me in broad day light at my work, pointed a gun to my head and I gave him everything I had on me. I felt weak because I assumed for a long time the robbery was my fault.
For almost one year I felt no emotion, due to the PTSD I had from the event. The
whole goal of my recovery was trying to find things that made me feel some type of
positive emotion. The things that once brought me such joy, no longer had an
emotional reaction from me. So, I knew I had to start somewhere small.
I started by recalling positive memories, some of the biggest memories have been from
traveling the world with my family and on every trip we would go on, my mother would get a new piece of jewelry. I loved helping her pick out new pieces with jewelers, the memories they would hold when she would later wear them.
Jewelry is what helped me to start feeling again, the amazement of how nature could create something so beautiful! Jewelry also helped me accept what happened and to heal, by teaching me that great things can come from something simple.
Diamonds change from carbon into their true selves after thousands of years of extreme pressure and when that pressure is relieved, they have to be cut by extremely sharp blades so that they can sparkle. Gold is forged and put under intense heat and molded into beautiful things. When I was younger, I only appreciated flawless colorless diamonds and gems, now I prefer diamonds of a warmer color and cuts that are imperfect.
My love of jewelry helped me understand that this was pressure that was going to help make my story great, and hopefully help someone else someday. Whether I can help someone who feels hopeless know that there is always hope - always something to hold on for.
Winning the beautiful Chrysoprase earrings have shown me that it can be rewarding to share parts of you that are hidden and vulnerable. Hopefully my story can help someone learn to love themselves and appreciate every chapter of their life, be it good or bad, because without those parts of their life, they wouldn’t be here today.
The stone Chrysoprase is believed to promote joy and happiness, while healing the heart of energies of depression and anxiety. It is said that Chrysoprase will empower you to understand more deeply, the concepts around Divine Truth, as you center yourself within your heart. Knowing that I will be forever on a journey of personal growth, this beautiful stone spoke to me in being the right thing that I need in this chapter of my life of love and acceptance for myself.
Whenever I wear these gems, I know that I need to get outside of my personal comfort
zone every day. In the same way that Chrysoprase glows, I can now glow too, and bring my light to everyone I meet.
We are meant to have unique facets to our story. I was once a victim, but I am now a survivor. I am loved and can not change what has happened, I can only control myself and what I do with the one life I have been given. I am no better than anyone else, but I am unique unlike anyone else. I am resilient and strong and beautiful.