14 November 2016. By the time I knew her, my mom had become exceedingly practical; a chin-length bob, comfort clogs, and running shorts were her everyday uniform. But from the Kodak photos I sifted through, and from my dad's stories, I knew that she had once been less geared toward the utilitarian. I liked and admired my sensible mom, but I also really wanted to know that mom from the photos. So, on the regular, I would sneak into her closet to get a glimpse of that different side. In her closet, jewelry she'd collected had been thrown together in boxes and bags. Though I knew her to be thrifty, there had clearly been a time when my mom could be won over by the shiny and unnecessary.
As I got older, I started working my mom's jewelry into my outfits, and she was happy to see it being worn. A cuff studded with turquoise and 70's era plastic flower brooch were in my rotation. And now, fifteen years later, my mom remains practical and I find myself catching up to her. The waist-length string of candy-colored beads I used to wear to brighten a dark outfit has been replaced with quieter items. My everyday earrings are thin, brass hoops, which I scoop out of my own jewelry boxes that are now stuffed with pieces that don't quite suit me anymore.
We evolve, and what we choose to adorn ourselves with does too. There's no right or wrong direction. Maybe you were once streamlined and now you get mistaken for Iris Apfel. And if you're just starting to figure out what jewelry you like, have fun. Someday, some sniffily little kid will probably be rooting through what you've collected and you'll want there to be something in there for her, too.