Today I decided to let my inner creative side show and went to my university’s “Kickin’ It with University Program Board” crafting event this afternoon as part of their Spring welcome week. Little did I know that bedazzling these mason jars would teach me more about patience and relationship building. The ability to be innately creative has always alluded me, but today I was helped with designing the beautiful mason jar below by one of my sorority sisters who absolutely loves graphic design and anything artistic. After talking with her about what ideas I could use to create the perfect design, I began working on it and realized how much this mason jar artwork mirrored my life this year so far.
Since this week was the first week of my spring semester, I have definitely been feeling a lot of emotions like stress, anxiety, and excitement (of course). On my mason jar, I decorated one side with colorful gems in an “ombre” style array in size order starting at the bottom of the jar. I think that the bottom of the jar represents the stability I have in my life in regard to my family and friendships as well as with my boyfriend. The gems are large and close together, reminding me of close relationships, strength and stability, as well as a firm foundation for my life.
However, as the gemstones move up the rest of the jar, they begin to decrease in size and in their order and placement. In hindsight, I realized that the more spread out and haphazard gems represent events in my life that have caused a lot of emotional outpourings, both positive and negative. Since I am an optimist, I consider the bigger gemstones to be representative of events that have brought me joy and excitement. I have been given an amazing opportunity to become a leader in my sorority as well as in the Panhellenic council at my university in the past few months and had my first official meeting on both of those executive boards earlier this week. They are more unstructured in comparison to my foundation gemstones, but this is how emotional events affect me during my life – they appear on their own and stand out in my memories.
The smaller gems towards the top of the mason jar represent things that have caused me to have anxiety or stress in my life. This past week I have had four new classes and professors to get acquainted with, and I am anxious about the future of the semester and making sure I can juggle everything while maintaining good grades and being a successful group member in my extra curricular activities. I tend to think of these stress-inducing events to be smaller and less significant because they shouldn’t have as large of an impact on my life as I sometimes allow them to have. The fact that these stressful events are closest to the top opening of the mason jar show that I want to let those events pass by me and not hold onto their effects for as long as I have in the past when I bottled my stress until it controlled my emotions and livelihood.
This past year I have been really diligent about making sure I have control over how situations that arise in my life affect me to make sure I am keeping myself in check emotionally and physically. Making this mason jar has given me a perspective on my life and showed me that when I take a step back and reflect on my life, I have come a long way in terms of dealing with stressful situations and knowing how to make the best of any situation and fight through tough times to succeed in what I want to do. This is the perfect time for me to put my new outlook on life to work as I am striving to achieve great things in my new officer positions for this year.
This afternoon I wanted to create a fun and decorative mason jar to relieve stress and have some fun bonding with friends. Little did I know that it would put my life and my current outlook on it into perspective and inspire an amazing reflection on changes I have made so far in 2014.