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Come Back Stronger

When I was 17, I worked part-time at my cousin's insurance agency, handling customer calls as part of my school's co-op program. After my brief time there I can safely tell you with absolute certainty that people rarely call their agent to tell them what a great job they're doing, or how much they appreciate them. Every single call I answered was someone who angry, looking for someone to take it out on.

That person was me.

It would start off as a strangely aggressive question they already knew the answer to in an artificially kind tone. From there, it would escalate to them full on screaming, name calling and threatening me. This was my day, Monday - Friday from about noon til 5 for my entire senior year of high school.

To say this stressed me out is an understatement. The barrage of verbal abuse I knew I was walking into every single day just became overwhelming, so much so that I told my cousin I was done.

It was at that moment he shared something with me that I'll never forget - a way of looking at problems I had never thought of before. I'm paraphrasing a bit, but bear with me.

"Jason, I totally understand that taking these types of calls is tough and taxing on you mentally; I was the same when I started. What I realized though is that I needed to start rating things that were stressing me out on a scale of 1 (- not important) to 10 (- life-changing issues). If the things that were stressing me out were anything less than a 9, I would just let them go. I recognized that stress it gave me worrying about the little things wasn't worth the time I gave them. What you have to remember is that just because an issue presents itself doesn't mean you have to respond. Choose to spend your time on the things that really matter instead of getting caught up in every little issue that arises."

It's funny how we remember these specific moments in our lives, isn't it? The ones that we can look back on as a pinpoint in time where our perception change prepared us for something that was to come. When we look back, it's almost as if we're able to see our story unfolding from above.

Years later, when I was in my mid 20s, my '10' hit. I had chosen the wrong business partner and lost everything I had, literally skateboarding to Starbucks because I no longer had a car. I wasn't even going there for coffee, I went to apply for job. I will never forget the face of the barista who had given me my coffee at the drive-through before - he actually laughed at me, thinking I was joking as I asked for an application.

I wasn't. I had no car, no home and was about to be evicted from the apartment I was staying in. I had $500 left to my name and no job. This '10' was real.

This is the part of the story where this month's Pearl comes in to play. A 10, at the time, feels life-changing, in the worst way possible. Most of the time I find that 10s happen because of something we lose - Maybe it's a relationship, a loved one, a job or an opportunity. Whatever it is, 10's make us feel like our entire world has shifted - they have a way of making us feel incredibly small and insignificant.

Before I go any further - If you're reading this now you've currently got a 10 of your own, I want you to know that I see you, and I understand. 10s can feel dark, lonely and desolate. Recognizing it's a 10 is usually the hardest part - acknowledging that this fear you had has come true is incredibly difficult, but I promise you there is a light ahead. It's the trials and tribulations we face that give us the strength we need to face the next chapter in our story - they're preparing us for even greater feats.

Come Back Stronger is a Pearl I made based on my own experiences. It's the mentality I recognized was absolutely necessary to become the person I was made to be. We'll all have our 10s from time to time, that is inevitable. My hope for this month's Pearl is that it'll shine a bit of light on just how powerful we can be if we're determined to come back even stronger than we were to begin with, recognizing that 10's are just a part of our story, they are not the end.

As a bonus for those of you who got this Pearl - you'll notice that the red in the Phoenix actually has holographic sparkles in it. That's my little easter egg in this design to remind you that even the little parts of you become more beautiful when you're determined to see things through.

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Patricia F.
United States

Thrilled to be “IN”!

Love the pin/strap combos; I got one of the last three memberships of a limited number being offered. It was my lucky day!

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The pearls are so deep in meaning and so wonderful in the design


Always a beautiful surprise

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Loved this one!

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United States

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I thought last month was the best...until I got this month! Thank you Thank you!