My Story of my First Ring
Fri, 11/09/2012 - 4:26pm | by monicadear
Anyone who knows me will tell you that I have never been much of a primp. Things like baubles and bangles are nice, but not a primary focus of mine. However, about 5 years ago, I had a dream about a ring. In my dream, that particular ring was a black onyx-type stone and a silver setting, but that particular ring was meant to be in the far future, after I was living in New Mexico and was a publishing editor, probably in my late 60s (go figure).
In my waking life, I started researching jewelry to find a ring for the current or near-future me.
My sister had recently received a ring that was a Canadian diamond, and I started learning more about the diamond industry. Her thoughtfulness about choosing the diamond inspired me. After learning more, I decided against a diamond because of the scope of tragedy and the environmental destruction inherent in the diamond mining process, but I was fortunate enough to come across the fledgling industry of "ethical jewelry" and more pointedly, to the work of Tamara McFarland of McFarland Designs.
I started researching rings on her Etsy store - they're gorgeous, by the way. She has a lot of information about fair trade, as well as the origins and certification of the gemstones she uses. She also uses Harmony Metals, which are recycled metals such as 14K and 18K gold and sterling silver.
I first cut out a picture of one of the rings I liked and put it on my visionboard, as a goal under "Possessions" - that was in 2008.
Then, I started planning on how I was going to achieve that goal. I wanted the ring to represent my happiness and be an object that embodied my success in my work, so part of acquiring it meant coming up with a new income stream to finance that. I wanted to continue to think of ways to make sure that the ring represented something meaningful to me. This led to the production and publication of my first book, and then a number of ways to monetize around the book (including this website, blog reviews, and advertising from like-minded companies through Google AdSense).
I first contacted via e-mail Tamara two years ago; even contacting her was a stretch for me, as I'd never commissioned jewelry (or anything artistic) before. Another 9 months passed, then I was ready to ask for an estimate. This was to be for a ring that represented my family, with different gemstones for my marriage and children. I put down a deposit and was ready to start imagining when life intervened -- I miscarried that year and then I went into a depression and fog, which included feeling ambivalent about having a ring that represented the children. After about six months, I started thinking again about the ring, and she serendipitously contacted me asking me about my intentions.
We kept moving forward. She helped me narrow my focus on just one gemstone; out of the ones she had, this was a fair trade US-mined stone that was gorgeous.
Here's a retake of the photo because I thought there was a slight chip on the stone itself.
We then decided on the materials (18K palladium white gold) and a chance trip to a jeweler helped me figure out my correct ring size (7.5). It took only a few weeks to create: she makes her rings with care and love in her home studio. She sent beautiful photos of the finished product - a 5mm stone on a 3mm comfort-fit polished band, and she shipped it out the first week of February.
For that entire week I was waiting, I had dreams about the ring. I had nightmares, two nights in a row, about it being damaged, or me damaging it, or it being oversized, ugly, inappropriate, and broken, but I realized that part of that is the despair and cloudiness that come right before a big win. It was also my sense of insecurity and not feeling like I deserve something, that I am working on replacing with comfort, belief in myself, and feeling like I do deserve something beautiful. It's always the darkest hour before the dawn.
February has traditionally been a month of change, spiritual testing, and renewal for me. I had what I can only call a religious experience during the month of February. I met my husband in the month of February. I overdosed on sleeping pills as a depressed and frustrated 17-year-old and had to go to the hospital and therapy, again during the month of February.
To make a long story short, just this Valentine's Day, I was able to go to the post office and pick up the ring.
Note that the earlier you know you're going to do something, the quicker I think you should make plans towards that. As you envision the future in more detail, it comes to you with more clarity and focus. I hope your 5-year plan involves something that physically embodies your success, too.