Confidence. It is something we learn by emulating those who have it and it is an attitude or a state of being we grow into, step by step.
We grow in confidence as we master new skills and suddenly realize that we perform new tasks, even extremely complex ones, with ease and grace. But confidence is not merely about accomplishments. It depends a lot on how comfortable we are in our own skin.
A quote found earlier today, and posted to the Ornament Studio Facebook page, was the inspiration for this article. Coco Chanel said, “Dress shabbily and they remember the dress; dress impeccably and they remember the woman.” The same goes for a suit and a man/ However, there is more to this. How we dress makes an impression on others, but it changes us first. This is true with our clothes and it is true of the ornaments we choose to add to the day’s “costume.”
We all have an old favorite cardigan or pair of jeans about which we can say, “I feel like myself when I wear this.” Many have a favorite bracelet or pendant that accompanies them everywhere. One day, we set it aside while moving furniture or participating in an outdoor activity. We feel odd the moment we resume our normal routine. Something is off balance. We are not quite ourselves. We may have driven miles away from home, on the way to work or an appointment, before we realize what is missing. In that instant, obligations suddenly dim in comparison with the very real sense that we are incomplete. We turn around and risk a speeding ticket. Feeling like ourselves again is all that matters.
While we are attached to some pieces of clothing, our connection to jewelry is unique. There is not a single piece of jewelry that we acquire that does not have a story. Those we acquire while traveling remind us of the journey; those we have commissioned an artisan to make especially for us remind us of who we are; those we receive as gifts remind us of the people in our lives who let us know we matter.
We bring old, worn coats and outfits to the second-hand shop with little hesitation. When there is hesitation, it eventually subsides. It’s different with jewelry. When it no longer represents us, because life is an inevitable transformation, we put it away in a nice pouch or box. It may be there for years before we pass it along to a family member. We have outgrown it, but our reverence for what it represents is not diminished.
We feel 10 feet tall when we wear our best clothes for a special event. We feel proud, clean, sophisticated and yes, confident. But for those who enjoy personal ornaments, that special ring, pendant, bracelet or those dazzling earrings actually ground us in the midst of a deeply felt story. It is when we feel thus grounded that we step into the world with the most confidence. So what if it takes a bracelet or a ring to make us feel this good, this worthy and this right.
More than this, jewelry is art and art helps us retain our belief in beauty. It is difficult to trust in the world when we do not see beauty. Thankfully, we can even wear it.