A Tiny Little Ring, A Tiny Little Part of Me

Writing 101: The Things We Treasure 

What is my most prized possession?

Since most of my challenge responses are related to childhood, my first thought was my teddy bear. I’ve had him since I was two or three and despite my growth and realization that he isn’t actually that big, he goes by the name of Big Bear. But if I’m honest, I would  be able to sleep without him. I have, a few times. His awkward size meant there wasn’t room in suitcase or rucksacks on trips. That doesn’t mean I don’t want him anymore. I hope to one day pass him on to my son or daughter, however tatty and old.

So, after thinking more deeply, I think that my most prized possession in terms of what it means to me is my ring. Apart from this one ring, I only have a couple of rings, which I don’t wear very often. This ring is a tiny little gold plated one with a heart shaped aquamarine stone, for my astrological sign-Aries. My mum bought it for me when I was thirteen, I think. Ever since she gave it to me, I have always worn it. When I can’t find it after I took it off to get a shower or bath, I have a sudden sense of panic. It seems to have thinned slightly and when I’m not wearing it, it could be mistaken for one of those kiddie’s toy rings.

But the reason this ring means so much to me, is that it reminds me that I am different, and that it’s a good thing. I feel like, even though I don’t really believe in horoscopes (but sometimes it’s fun to see what they say!) embracing a part of me, however tiny, and wearing it everyday makes me feel unique and special.

This ring will always remind my of my mum. And I know that in the future when I’m miles and miles away, studying at university, travelling, living with a partner, building a new family and whatever else I will be reminded of her and how much I love her every time I see the ring.

I have problems with marriage. Having divorced parents and watching the effects of so many failed marriages, I am wary of it. And thinking of rings, symbolizing a commitment, kind of scares me. I have a lot to say about marriage, so I’ll come back to that another time. But what I like about my ring is that it doesn’t have so much meaning and worth at risk. I’ll never have to give back this ring. I’ll never have to take it off to deceive someone (not that I would ever cheat) It can mean a lot to me, or it could seem pretty to me. Its up to me.

Another great thing about this ring is that it’s more likely to stay with me. People grow out of clothes, lose old toys, things get stolen. My hands might get a little wrinkly-or a lot-but they will still wear the ring. I hope that one day my little boy or girl, or one of my grandchildren will point at my ring and ask ‘where did you get that’? And I will tell them how I got it and how I’ve carried it through my life. It’s been through all of the things I have faced. It’s only tiny, and only represents a tiny part of me, but it means the world to me. Thanks, mum, for reminding me that I’m different.

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Stop reading if you don’t like cheesecake!

You’re about to enter a room full of strangers, where you will have exactly four minutes to tell a story that would convey who you really are. What’s your story?

Who am I really?

I am a teenager trying to grip hold of the little girl inside me that is gradually drifting away; and cowering away from womanhood that looms ahead. Here is my story.

I was born in Chester and it wasn’t long until my parents divorced, when I was age four. It’s not the divorce that I remember, or that hurt me-it was what came after it, and what still goes on now. Yes, my dad cheated. And in short, I am still not fully okay with this.

But young four year old me was protected for some time by naivety. As I grew up, moving house to places across England, I developed into a shy girl. I went through a series of best friends, who left me, or were left by me, who turned out to be bullies or just drifted from. While the bullying and the anxiety gnawed away at me, I was too lost in my shell to realize that one day those things would make me stronger. And over the years, I have developed, as they say, a thicker skin.

More recently I have been through more, and being aware and unprotected by the cocoon of innocence and naivety, it has affected me more deeply. I have lost people I loved. I have met new people I hated. I have spent months trying to work out how to deal with the effects of these things. One of the best ways was through writing. Even now, speaking daunts me, so writing has always been my strong point because it such a liberating way to express your thoughts and emotions.

I think I am allowed to call myself a dark horse, because I always seem to surprise some people when I succeed. Either because I was working hard, but so quietly they forgot about me, or they just never saw me as competition. But my GCSE results are an example of something I have worked very hard to be proud of.

A select group of friends know what I am like when I am being myself, and not the quiet me. Then, I am crazy, silly sometimes, but still as caring-I hope-as usual. If you want to get on my good side, I love oreos, cheesecake and chocolate. I am mildly offended when people say they don’t like any of these divine creations.

Hobby-wise, I like to read, write poetry, walk or jog, listen to music, watch action films, make cards and sometimes draw, watch youtubers, go to concerts/festivals, sing in a choir, hide at the back in the school production, hold my rabbits, have gorgeous lie-ins and be an idiot with my friends.

I am trying very hard not to take life too seriously. (That sounds a bit like an oxymoron…) There’s not much left to know about me! I like honest people; honesty is the most important quality  to me. Oh and I’m sixteen years old, studying A-levels and hoping to go to uni and then become a writer of some sort. And, despite the English rain and other disappointments in my life, I have to say it’s a pretty good life.

Singing and Sausage-rolling, a vital part of best friendship

Do you — or did you ever — have a Best Friend? Do you believe in the idea of one person whose friendship matters the most? Tell us a story about your BFF (or lack thereof).

I DO have a best friend. Though my experience of best friends hasn’t always been great. My first best friend moved to a different school, and when I moved school too, the most we talked was through postcards and birthday cards. Then, when I settled into my new school, my next best friend decided to move even further away-to Australia. The one after that was even worse. She turned out to be a bully. Thanks to her constantly comparing the both of us, putting me down and becoming increasingly nasty I lost confidence, which has taken years to get back. But I learned a lot from that experience, and I’m almost glad she was so nasty as it made me tougher and stronger emotionally. My current best friend took me all of those best friends to get to, but she was worth it (however cheesy that sounds). We are both pretty shy, which meant it took us a while to become close. But when we stuck with each other as people fought and went from different friendship groups, it became obvious that we would be friends for life. So, thanks to Ellie, I do believe in the idea of one person whose friendship matters the most. Because it means there is always someone to rely on for support and to tell the secrets that are too hard to tell your family or friends that don’t understand you as much. I still have a close knit group of friends, who I get along really well with. And I think that it’s important to be in a group as well, because sticking with one best friend only can isolate you from making other friendships. 

Ellie and I met in the last years of primary school and managed to stay friends until secondary school. It wasn’t until the last three years that I became really close with her. Our shared love of Taylor Swift brought us together. We went to see her Speak Now tour, which was our first concert at age thirteen. And this year we saw Taylor again, age sixteen, but at the 02 in London, which was AMAZING. 

We’re the kind of friends who don’t need anything fancy to have fun. Once, I rolled down her back garden in a blanket in an attempt to be a sausage roll.  We laugh at each other-well, Ellie laughs at me when I fall off my bike. And we cry on each others’ shoulders a lot. Which is useful when you’re a teenager and there are a lot of tears to cry. I do crazy stuff for her, most of the time without thinking. Like singing in front of too many people-bearing in mind I can’t sing, to try and get her to sing to ANYONE. (She sang to me later on, followed by tears of course). Sorry Taylor Swift, I didn’t mean to murder any of your songs. 

To anyone that doesn’t have a best friend, my advice is not to worry about getting one. Try and get into a small group of friends who you can trust, then someone you probably didn’t expect will become closer to you and turn out to be your best friend. You don’t necessarily need a best friend to be happy, but once you have a true best friend you’ll know because you won’t be able to let them go.