In 2003 I was volunteering in South India. I loved the work that we did, met so many people and felt totally inspired. After three months working I was lucky to do some travelling. I took a 38-hour train journey from south India to the north. The landscape was so different, many more people than the south and all the mixtures of faiths coming together everywhere you looked.
This was a big time for me, I was seeing the world with new eyes. I had not purchased much along the way, but then I saw an antique glass and wood display box in a busy and dusty market, in the box was a silver cuff with three dots on each end. It caught my eye. The cuff was made in the style of Indian hill tribe silver, it also reminded me of designs on ancient Scottish silver.
This cross-cultural design spoke to me of home as well as the Indian landscape.
The cuff became a meaningful object, a sort of talisman. Going abroad involved adventures, independence, freedom, fun and meaningfulness. So this cuff became more than just a piece of jewellery but a thing that made me feel strong with my newfound identity.
Two years on and I lost the cuff. I couldn't believe it! I looked high and low, and I kept on looking for the next 10 years.
In 2016 a good friend that I told the story too said, I should make one. I followed some instructions and in a few hours, I had something that looked very much like my cuff back. Now the silver cuff held the meaning of friendship as well as bringing back the memories of travel and the freedom that comes with it.
It's amazing how attached you can become to an object. Our memories are important because they are what makes us individual.
We hold on to our identities because we value our own strengths and wish for others to see more than just the surface of our appearance.
What we wear can shine a light on our true selves. I felt that this cuff is as much a part of me as were the unfolding experiences.