Self-Aware

An Essay By Madeline // 4/11/2013

I have this bracelet that I wear all the time. It's nothing gaudy, or particularly enviable. It's just a string of wooden beads, one larger than the others. The ends of the thread are frayed where it's been knotted together.

I was given this as a gift almost two years ago, by a friend of my mother's. She explained they were "prayer beads"--but she used them to relieve stress or to relax. The first day I had them I laid on the floor of my living room (which is not exactly the most comfortable, seeing as it's hard wood) and closed my eyes and concentrated on rolling the beads around the bracelet, one at a time. I don't know that is particularly made me feel anything, but the quiet was great.

I don't know when it happened, or how, but gradually I came to wearing them more often. Then whenever I thought of them in the morning. Then every single day.

And now--now it's gotten to the point where I fall asleep with them on.

The beads are the first thing I reach for when I'm bored, anxious, excited. I have a habit of taking them off my wrist and twisting them around, sectioning them off, until they're in groups of three-four-five. I especially did this when I had my choir practices. We'd get up into rows to practice, and there I'd be, twisting them around unconsciously. One morning our teacher said, politely, "Please do not mess with your jewelry if you're wearing it, because it can be distracting."

Me: *slowly drops hands* Heh.

Anyway, a few weeks ago, I was sitting in my room talking to my friend when suddenly I realized--I wasn't wearing the beads. Obviously, this equaled much nervousness in me. She was kind enough to help me look until we decided to check outside when, what to my wondering eyes should appear, in my coatsleeve, a beaded bracelet!

...And, yeah, that did not have the same rhythm to it as The Night Before Chistmas. Moving on.

I found it in my coat sleeve, where it had come off when I was taking off my coat. So that was a relief. Happy, I slipped it back on.

Tonight, just minutes ago, I was coming upstairs when all the sudden my senses kicked in, I looked down, and it was gone. The beaded bracelet. I set down my waterglass and hurried downstairs to look for it. Nope, nothing, nada. But I was sure I'd been wearing it earlier today. And, ohmigosh, what if it came off while we were Grocery shopping? What if I was messing with it and it slipped off and it's gone?

But it was all for naught. My super detective skills (not) led me to my bedroom, where I checked my bed, and yup...there it was.

It'd slipped off last night, and I'd never even worn it today.

So what made me so sure? Why was I willing to bet that I'd had it on from the very moment I woke up?

Repetition, I suppose. Having it all those other days.

I was so used to it being there, it'd no longer become a conscious motion for me to get up, put it on, know it was there. For some reason I just repeat that routine automatically.

Sometimes certain things slip past our unawares. We let it go, because we're certain of it, whatever it is. A person, a place, a thing. When it's lost, after a while, our brain finally kicks in. We become self-aware. And then it becomes this huge glaring, gaping thing. How could I have not seen? you ask yourself. How could I have been so unaware?

Ask me why this bracelet means so much, and I don't know if I could really tell you. Its weight on my wrist is nonexistent, but my draw to it is. And it's a bracelet. Even I don't fully get it.

It's nothing gaudy. Or particularly enviable.

But I love it. I wear it all the time.

So much so, that I automatically assume I'm wearing it when I'm not. And then I look down, and the panic sets in, and I'm suddenly self-aware.

The good ending to the story, though, is that I always find the bracelet.

So far.

*knocks on wood*

Comments

This is great!

This is really great, because not just material objects go unaware. Like a religion, or a point of view, or etc. LOL! I really liked the message in this and you wrote in such a wonderful way that I could see it all. Very visual!

Hmm... Something I couldn't imagine without??? Now it's my Great Grandmothers ring, which I try to wear everyday. Actually when you started this, talking about your bracelet, I realized I hadn't been wearing my ring and I was like "Oops, that reminds me" LOL! Haha, it's interesting how frightened and panicked you can become when you realize it's missing or gone. For me, when I look down at my bare finger and come to that self-awareness, first I become panicked like "Oh no! Did I put it down to put lotion on?" Then I remember I never wore it in the first place and then become rather sad and disappointed. I don't know why "Disappointed" but I just am.

Love this essay, really, really, really good!

Kassady | Fri, 04/12/2013

"Here's looking at you, Kid"
---
Write On!

This made me feel contemplative!

I liked the image of you lying on the ground and feeling the beads... and the fact that you assumed you had it on when you didn't... and the attachment you have to it, though you can forget about it, until you become self-aware again. I found that especially that last bit really parallels so much in life!

I was surprised at what a calming piece this was to read, and, as a little side-note, I liked your repeat of "nothing gaudy/enviable" at the end.

Sarah Bethany | Sat, 04/13/2013

So, I was trying to figure

So, I was trying to figure out if I had anything like your bracelet. Then I got up from the computer to break up a fight between my younger siblings, and swiped on my chapstick as I walked through the door. And I realized, that um, my object is chapstick. And I couldn't even remember it.

Not any sort of lip balm mind you. I only like the Chapstick brand, classic strawberry. Anything else is no go. I think I've had this minor obsession for, oh, two years? And now I never go anywhere without my trusty chapstick in a pocket, or a purse. And if I'm out, or I forgot it, the knowledge just hovers on the edge of my self-consiousness, and my lips feel unbearably dry, and right now I'm getting stressed out just thinking about it.

Not as cool as a bracelet, but I don't think I would be quite me if I didn't have it. Weird, right? :)

And now you all know my dirty secret. (Except anyone who spends enough time around me is subjected to copious amounts of chapstick application, so, you know, not so much of a secret.)

little woman | Sat, 04/13/2013

The most astonishing thing about miracles is that they happen.
-G. K. Chesterton

Thank you, girls, for your

Thank you, girls, for your replies!

Kass--Oh, yeah, I saw that ring! So cool! :) And LOL that you realized you weren't wearing it when you read this. (-_-) Sounds like something I'd do. On Monday I looked down and the bracelet was gone again, so. Found it in my room. This is beginning to be a problem. Haha! Thank you!

Sarah Bethany--Aw, thank you so much! I appreciate it!

Little Woman--Ha! That's awesome!! Seriously, I think it can be anything. (the thing you can't go without) And we get really specific about these things, too. So the Chapstick is awesome! I need to take lessons from you. :P I always forget Chapstick and Lotion! Haha! Thank you!!

Madeline | Thu, 04/18/2013

everything was better when/you would call and I'd be like/yeah babe, no way

Different.

I really liked this...it's just such an honest-with-me type of an essay...if that makes any sense. Love it.

Okay...me? Well, it's my earrings, actually. I fiddle with them ALL the time. Talking on the phone, shopping, eating, typing..*hm* yes, and if I happen to NOT have any earrings in, it's instant panic. Until I remember I took them out for playing sport or something. :) Or, if I'm wearing a ring I'll take it on and off, on and off, on and off...constantly.
So there's my bit. :P

Maddi | Fri, 08/02/2013

Goodbye? Oh no, please. Can’t we just go back to page one and start all over again?” – Winnie The Pooh

Oh, this was very nice. I

Oh, this was very nice. I loved your description of the bracelet. I'm quite inspired to answer your question with an atypical essay of my own - but I won't because I've got to pack for college at the moment. I will just say, I have a bracelet that I've been wearing for around ten months. I don't sleep in it, because it's chain mail and so it leave scales on my skin and my wrist starts complaining, but I feel so strange without it now.

Anna | Mon, 08/19/2013

I have hated the words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right. --The Book Thief

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