YK’s 365 Release: Day 5

When I was young, between the time we came home from school and the time my parents returned from work, my sisters and I had full command of the house. This is when the most trouble making happened. Usually by me, of course. My older sister, who naturally fell into the role of managing the younger of us two, would occasionally come up with tasks to keep us occupied. One such task was making me memorize the different necklace links in the Sears Montgomery catalog. She would open it up to the necklace section and say, “Here, memorize these and recite them back to me when you’re done.” This was a time when nothing in life really had to have a “valid” purpose for me to want to explore. So it completely made sense for me to oblige. Box link, rolo link, chain link, snake link, rope link. I still remember dancing around the kitchen, repeating the names out loud believing I had just been given a tremendously serious task. Damn my sister was smart.

I don’t really wear jewelery, although I have a few choice pieces in my possession. I do wear one silver chain around my neck at all times. This was “given” to me by a dear friend when I saw it around his neck and demanded, “give that to me.” So sweet of him to give it to me. Heh. New guideline to add to my list; I will not be giving up objects that were gifted to me.

Once in a while, I’ll see a handcrafted piece of jewelery and because I appreciate unique beauty, art and labor, I have purchased a couple of pieces over the years. I’ve never worn them but they adorn my bedroom mirror.

One such piece is a necklace, made of glass stones, bought from an African artist at an outdoor market many years ago. And here it is, still hanging from my mirror, solely because I think it carries great beauty. I realize through the contemplation of this object, that I can get attached to beautiful things.

I enjoy beauty, and I am happy that I do. I love appreciating the arduousness that goes into someone being beautiful. For example, I appreciate a perfectly shaped eyebrow, a meticulously-arched, beautifully kept, consummately proportioned eyebrow. But I digress. Everyone has their own standards of beauty. Some people like short hair, some like long nails, some like makeup, some like hands. I am attracted to what and who I believe is beautiful to me. But beauty is not a thing, really. It’s something that provokes emotion and desire. The object (whether a person or a thing) itself, is just an object. My likes and dislikes are not inherently attached to the object itself. I create notions of what is beautiful all in my head. There is no need to hold onto beauty. The object will still be beautiful regardless of whether or not I have an opinion, and I do not need to hold on to it. This exercise is a grateful reminder.

All of this is an observation on external beauty, obviously. As you all know so well, I believe in the natural inner beauty of every single being in the universe. I also believe most of us have lost our way and need to reawaken ourselves to it. I believe so adamantly that everyone has pure unadulterated beauty, somewhere inside, I am willing to give up one thing a day every day for a year to prove it. I will share all of this another day.

I would love to see this glass necklace on someone else. That would be beautiful. I am gifting this piece to someone who makes me laugh every single moment I am in her presence. And I say frequently, if you laugh with me, I will love you forever. She gives me the gift of beauty in something that is fleeting and cursory. And this is exactly the lesson I need from this.

So on Day 5 of 365 Release, I am letting go of trying to hold on to beauty. Beauty cannot be held, it cannot be kept or touched. It is the most beautiful when it flourishes. And I will always be blessed with being able to experience beauty all around me.


[I created the 365 Release Project to practice non-attachment, letting go and change by giving away 1 thing a day for 1 year. The background, vision and guidelines to the 365 RELEASE project are here. The running list of everything I have released is here.]

3 responses to “YK’s 365 Release: Day 5”

  1. Marisol Cheng says:

    I like wearing candy necklaces then smelling it after the saliva has dried. I eat the beads one color at a time and it transforms into a completely different candy necklace. Then I trade them to my friends.

  2. YK Hong says:

    you make me laugh so much. i love it. can’t wait to give you your necklace. and i have a bonus necklace that matches your red one, for petrina. xx

  3. […] of my attraction toward them. It was like purchasing art for me. This reminds me of my lesson from Day 5, with the glass necklace. I am acknowledging that I appreciate beauty. That I have bought things in […]

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