Today I realized I am like the necklaces I used to make when I was a child. My mother would take my sister and me to a little store close to the water, where the walls where covered with rainbows made out of beads and the air seemed to feel like running your hands over velvet couches. We would walk through the shop with little baskets in our hands and fill them up with glinstering diamonds, colorful eggs and waves as blue as the ocean. The goal was to find beads that suited each other, that looked like a whirlwind in our baskets, but would eventually turn into the most perfect color strings around our necks.
At home, I would lie the beads out in front of me, putting them together into a thread that made sense. I always put the biggest one in the middle; the beating heart. All the others beads would fit into a pattern, surrounding the heart. It was almost like creating a life, fitting the pieces together until it made sense. Every single bead in the necklaces my sister and I made, was important. Together, they finished the pattern. The entire thread was nothing if one of them missed. It would not be complete.
I learned that the necklace I made so many years ago with so much attention to detail, is similar to me. I am also made up of something and all those little things formed me. One big bead in the middle, the core of everything else. Today I realized that those little things, the beads that create my thread, are my values.
Passion would be the big bead, surrounded by everything else. I value those who are driven by passion, those who are willing to fight for their hopes and dreams, and those who breathe not the air, but the things that fuel those hopes and dreams. Castles can be built and oceans can be crossed, but only when you have the bricks and mortar to built and the strength and perseverance to swim.
The beads around the center would stand for creativity; the ability to create. My parents taught me the importance of creativity, with my mother helping me make necklaces or buying me notebooks I can fill with endless streams of words, and with my father encouraging me to help him paint the house or wash the car on Sundays. Creativity comes in many shapes and forms, that is what they taught me and next to the passion that might fuel it, creativity is an important value to me.
What I value in people is kindness. Plain and simple kindness; the act of caring for another and being nice to each other. My parents taught and showed me this ever since I was a little girl: appreciating those who take care of you and care for those who appreciate you. Be kind, be friendly and be generous.
Since it is my family that taught me most of my core values, it makes sense that they form the last beads, the ones enclose all others and finish the thread. They are the characters that make up the most colorful stories, from the moment I was born until the moment I am writing this. They are the ones that know exactly what to say and exactly when to say it. They are the ones that I cherish and value above everything else.
And finally love, always love. It is the thread that runs through every single bead, pulling them together around my neck, completing the necklace and thereby, completing me. The store that my mother took my sister and me to is long gone. People are living there now, unaware of the beads that were collected or the necklaces that were made.