For years, my right wrist has donned a hand-woven bracelet. Ever since the day I first slipped the bracelet over my skinny little pre-teen wrist, it has never left. Initially bright pink and purple, the coloring is now faded, worn out over the course of many life milestones the bracelet has accompanied me through. I do not think it could be removed at this point even if I tried, although I cannot imagine I should ever want to. The bracelet was a gift from a friend at a time when handmade friendship bracelets were the true indicator of a lasting relationship.
Maybe there was some significance to that childish fad after all, since the giver of this particular bracelet remains my best friend to this day. While its actual worth is meager, the bracelet is priceless in my eyes. My friend and I are represented by the pink and purple thread, each of our favorite colors respectively. The colors are braided tightly together in a way that mirrors the relationship my friend and I share, and the course of the bracelet itself parallels our friendship: just as the bracelet rests on my right hand through every challenge I face and triumph I experience, so too is she right at my side for every peak and valley of life. Her constancy throughout my life is not limited to just the major highs and lows, however; not only has she supported me through state championships and comforted me during rough break-ups, but she has also been there for the bad haircuts, awkward dates, and successful shopping trips of everyday life. Her friendship reflects the presence of the bracelet because she sticks around during the good and bad and through unremarkable monotony that fills up the majority of our lives.
She has also supported me in every endeavor, even if it is an unfavorable decision. One of the biggest challenges our relationship faced was when I chose to break away from the norm and enroll in a high school one city over from ours. We went from sharing secrets on the bus every morning and afternoon to seeing each other sparingly every few weeks and even less as we became more heavily involved in our schoolwork, athletics, and part-time jobs. When I traveled two hours to attend Fordham University in the fall, she remained at home to commute to classes, and once again our friendship was put to the test. Instead of growing apart, however, we have adapted our relationship to the changes in our lives as they come. While I no longer get to see her often, I have learned to cherish every second spent together. I have also developed a greater appreciation for her ever-present role in my life despite the distance and for her true value as a friend. While the colors of the bracelet fade and our own friendship matures, both possess a powerful resilience. The strength of the bracelet, like the bond my friend and I share, is something time cannot diminish. The bracelet has just as much a place on my wrist today as my best friend has in my heart.
Though it may seem an insignificant part of my daily attire at first glance, I consider the bracelet my personal totem. It is an ordinary object that I find extraordinary, since it represents a relationship far more vast and complex than itself. The bracelet’s significance in my life reveals some personal attributes as well. I consider the people in my life much more important than the objects, and therefore regard the woven bracelet higher than some of my more elaborate jewelry. I also value the ideals of loyalty and longevity in the relationships I establish with people, and would take a single true friend over a hundred faulty acquaintances. The bracelet is quite simple and consequently could not possibly convey all the intricate aspects of our friendship: the many jokes, traditions, and memories of our relationship that make it so unique and so valuable to me. However, I can understand and appreciate the beauty in the bracelet’s simplicity, because I know of the beautiful relationship it stands for.