Take a look inside your jewelry box, and you’ll quickly realize that all of the jewelry pieces you consider to be particularly precious are symbolic of important relationships in your life.
The ring that’s been passed down through generations of your family.
The earrings your mother gifted you for your 21st birthday. The matching necklaces you and your best friend bought as a reminder of your enduring friendship.
So why is it that you don’t have a piece of jewelry to signify the most important relationship in your life?
We’re talking about the relationship you have with yourself.
Where is the beautiful ring, pair of earrings, or necklace to symbolize your self-love? A lifelong goal you worked tirelessly to achieve? A new sense of freedom? A job promotion? Or even a “just because” piece? As women, we often don’t think to treat ourselves to something truly special or to properly commemorate touching personal moments in our lives. At Blush and Bar, we believe that every woman should start saying, “Why not?”
We understand it can be difficult to get in the frame of mind to do something selfless.
That’s why we gathered these five heartfelt stories about women who realized the power that buying a special piece of jewelry for themselves could have.
Perhaps after reading them, you will feel inspired to realize the power of doing so too.
1. Emma Grady — Happiness doesn't depend on a relationship
“I will no longer abandon myself to a relationship or expect a romantic partner to give me a happiness that only I can truly give myself.”
– Emma Grady
While relationships come and go, the one you have with yourself will always remain. So why not cherish that fact, as Emma Grady did?
Breakups are hard at the best of times. Even when they’re mutual, you can be left with a sense of emptiness before you eventually pick yourself up again.
According to an honest piece she wrote for Glamor, that’s precisely what Emma Grady felt after a mutual breakup with her boyfriend of over four years,
While she had never been someone who aspired to get married, Emma admitted that she would often get a pang of jealousy whenever she saw another woman’s hand adorned with a wedding ring.
In her words, wedding rings seemed like, “... a status symbol, a constant reminder to them and to the world that they are loved.” So it had never crossed her mind that she could simply buy such a ring for herself. That is until she spotted what she called “the most gorgeous vintage diamond ring” after a post-breakup crying session on her couch.
While initially hesitant to buy it given its hefty price tag and her concern about what others would think about this defiant act, she finally made the leap. “One click, and the ring—my symbol from me to me that I am loved—was mine.” To be clear, the ring isn’t intended to fill the void her boyfriend left—that was never the point of purchasing it in the first place. Instead, she explained that it represents a life-defining decision:
“I will no longer abandon myself to a relationship or expect a romantic partner to give me a happiness that only I can truly give myself.”
2. Kerry Neville — Commit to You
“I traded in the rings for one of my choosing.”
– Kerry Neville
Who says we can’t play by our own rules? That’s what Kerry Neville did when she “married” herself.
It’s often said that we sometimes need to take one step backward to take two steps forward. This saying certainly rings true for author Kerry Neville, who shared a heartfelt story of this in action with Insider.
To be more precise—a handful of interconnected stories involving three engagement rings, a divorce, and another, more unique engagement ring.
Kerry received her first engagement ring from her now ex-husband. While she didn’t want to admit it at the time, she was ultimately disappointed with it. Not only did it not suit her tastes, but it also inexplicably featured the letter ‘K’ in Arabic, a language that had no significance whatsoever to their relationship.
“My disappointment felt more like my own shame over my vanity and materialism, but I could not love this ring.”
After some coaxing, Kerry eventually convinced her partner to go fifty-fifty on another engagement ring. But any joy she felt about receiving this replacement engagement ring was short-lived. In her eyes, her partner’s unenthusiastic reaction conveyed his true feelings toward her: “You’re not worth saving up for and my love has limits.”
Over the next few years, the ring’s parts needed to be replaced multiple times. So the couple decided to purchase yet another ring.
With a more sizable budget at her disposal, Kerry finally had the chance to choose one that better fit her aesthetic. But while her new ring looked good, her marriage was looking worse for wear. “I believed this re-engagement ring, with our mutual investment, might've helped our troubled marriage, but of course, no ring can save what is fundamentally broken and eventually, we divorced, and I slipped the ring off my finger.”
She initially kept her engagement rings locked away in a box, until one day she decided to trade in all three for one of her own choosing. The ring was “up-front flashy” and had a price tag to match. But to Kerry, it was worth every penny as it symbolizes that she’s worth the long-term investment. As she put it: “With this ring, I me wed, and am now free from the past that dogged my happily ever.”
3. Beth Bernstein — Because I deserve it
“I have realized that I am comfortable in my personal style, work hard, and I’m worth it.”
– Beth Bernstein
Like Beth Bernstein, you may need to first do some unlearning before realizing that there’s nothing wrong with buying jewelry for yourself.
If there’s anyone who understands the power of buying jewelry for themselves, it’s jewelry writer Beth Bernstein. She shared her thoughts on the matter in a thought-provoking piece for Huff Post called, “I’m Worth It.” A self-identifying “single, middle-aged woman,” Beth has proudly become someone who doesn’t think twice about making meaningful jewelry purchases for herself. To her, there’s a “special feeling that comes with having the freedom and confidence to go into a store and buy your own ring.”
Beth hasn’t always been this way, however. The previous jewelry pieces she owned were primarily given to her as gifts during long-term relationships. But they never felt quite right. In her own words: “I found that the guys with whom I was involved were buying adornments for how they envisioned me — not for who I was.”
There were even some jewelry horror stories, like the time she wore a piece of cubic zirconia jewelry from a past partner that made her neck turn orange!
But these incidents helped pave the way for Beth to shake things up in her forties. She’d finally come to realize that it “might be easier to find the right ring than the right man.”
This was a hugely empowering realization for her to make, considering that she had long felt uneasy about purchasing fine gems for herself. Beth puts it down to the fact that she’d been taught growing up, “You’re sterling until some man deems you gold or platinum.” Wishing to challenge this, she invested in a diamond platinum eternity band. Realizing how amazing it felt to perform such an act of self-love, she soon purchased more rings for herself.
But that’s not to say her new-found love of purchasing jewelry didn’t have its detractors. Nevertheless, she has remained undeterred, and to this day continues to buy jewelry for herself. As she puts it: “I have realized that I am comfortable in my personal style, work hard, and I’m worth it.”
4. Rebecca Renner — Compassion for myself
“The sound of them every day as I work at my desk reminds me that I need to look on myself with love and compassion.”
– Rebecca Renner
Instead of waiting for someone to buy a piece of jewelry for you, Rebecca Renner learned from a wise friend that you shouldn’t be afraid to buy it for yourself instead.
Many of us have poignant memories involving jewelry that stem back to childhood. These experiences in our most formative years can shape us so significantly that they leave an impact that lasts well into adulthood. This was the case for Rebecca Renner, who recalled such memories in a refreshingly honest piece for Ravishly. Rebecca starts off the piece by recollecting her mother’s long-standing fascination with jewelry. While their family could at one point afford all of the pieces of jewelry that caught her mother’s eye, this all changed in her later teenage years.
She paints a vivid but heartbreaking picture of a time when her mother insisted on buying a ring that far exceeded their limited budget. Rebecca shares that she remembers feeling conflicted. On the one hand, she thought the purchase was undeniably financially irresponsible. But on the other, she felt jealous, as no one had ever bought her anything that nice.
Then again, Rebecca had also never bought herself any good jewelry.
Like many of us, she had made the mistake of telling herself, “I just have to wait till I find the right person.”
And when she started dating Will, she thought he could be that person. In the beginning, things were progressing healthily along. But then, they started to slowly grow apart. Rebecca blamed herself at first, having thought, “I wasn’t thin enough, pretty enough, rich enough, available enough for him.”
However, when it transpired that Will was not the man she had first thought he was, she said to her friend, Casey, three important words: “I deserve better.”
Fortunately, Casey said exactly what Rebecca needed to hear at that time, “Hell yes, you do.”
She also shared some wise words that would come to convince Rebecca to take the plunge and purchase some pieces of jewelry for herself. Wondering what those words were? “If you want something, buy it.”
So Rebecca did; she bought herself three bracelets. They may not seem like much to anyone else. But to her, these bracelets mean more than words can express. As she put it: “The sound of them every day as I work at my desk reminds me that I need to look on myself with love and compassion.”
5. Kellie Anderson — Because I want to
“I’m really enjoying the thought of this promise ring being all about me and my commitment to just myself.”
– Kellie Anderson
When was the last time you followed through on your promise to love yourself? Kellie Anderson made this, as well as a number of other personal promises, when she purchased a promise ring for herself.
Perhaps you’re already familiar with a special piece of jewelry called a promise ring. According to The Knot, this type of ring represents a promise made between two people, with personal meaning differing from couple to couple. While this is the generally accepted purpose of a promise ring, there’s nothing to say this is set in stone.
After all, why does the promise represented by this ring need to be the exclusive domain of couples? Why can’t it signify a promise we make to ourselves? That was the exact thinking behind Kellie Anderson’s decision to purchase a promise ring for herself. Fortunately for us, she detailed her thought process on her personal blog, Pale Jacket, right after she made it.
She wrote that she felt “suddenly inspired” to do so, simply because it made her feel happy.
Kellie shared that while she thinks it may sound strange to some people, she owed herself that much. As she phrased it, “... after everything I’ve accomplished, and how far I’ve come over the past few years, I think I should promise my own self a few things too.”
In her blog, she lists all of the promises she made to herself upon purchasing her promise ring. A few of our favorite ones include:
- I promise to love myself.
- I promise to fight for what I believe in.
- I promise to take care of my health, both physically and mentally, to the best of my ability.
- I promise to be honest about my fears, dreams, wants, and emotions.
- I promise to stay true to the person I am and who I want to be.
- I promise to remind myself that I’m totally capable of a lot of really cool things.
Kellie admitted at the time that she might end up bending or breaking them. But she says the ring will serve as a constant reminder to stay faithful to her promises. As she explains it: “I think that vowing these things to myself today, through some sort of physical symbol like this ring … I’ll work twice as hard to stay committed to my goals.” What’s more, Kelly highlighted that the ring will additionally “Serve as a reminder to me, to take care of myself, and to not lose sight of what’s truly important to me—because I’ve tied it’s significant meaning to so many important things.”
We can’t help but feel inspired by her poetically raw insights, which we’ll end with here. “I’m really enjoying the thought of this promise ring being all about me and my commitment to just myself―my dreams, my wants, and about what I know will make me the most happy in this life.”
The five stories we shared above are a timely reminder that buying jewelry for yourself can be a powerful act of self-love.
It can be a reminder to take care of yourself. To listen to what you really feel and want. To not let anyone or anything stand in the way of achieving your goals. Or even just to treat yourself to something special.
After all, why not buy a piece of jewelry simply because you like it? You don’t need to wait until you have something significant to commemorate. Nor do you need to ask anyone’s permission to do so.
As long as you like the look of it and it means something to you, that’s all that matters. Did the stories above inspire you to purchase a piece of jewelry for yourself? Remember, you don’t need to buy diamonds or jewels for a piece of jewelry to be beautiful and heartfelt. At Blush and Bar, we specialize in making original, handmade jewelry that looks expensive but won’t break the bank. If you’re looking to make a jewelry purchase for yourself that will last a lifetime (quite literally, as we offer a lifetime warranty!), browse our gorgeous jewelry pieces.