She Sells Seashells

If there’s one thing I’ve always enjoyed since I was a little kid, it’s going to the beach. It’s not just the water, the sunshine, putting on a cute bathing suit, or occasionally spotting a hot surfer that interests me, but rather looking into the vast unknown and taking it on. No matter how close I get to the waves, I’m still intrigued to go further. The ocean seems to like me just as much. Whether I’m minding my own business gathering shells on the beach or wandering along the shores of Mexico in “Life’s a Beach,” the waves always seem to catch me. This has been a complication ever since I was little and would get soaked, causing my parents to frantically grab towels in the car to dry me off. Despite my misfortune, I was always eager to have the adventure, and a few treasures to take home with me. From San Diego to Peru to Mexico, I have been collecting shells and turned them into my latest jewelry project with wire wrapping.

Both Necklaces 2 (L)At first I thought wire wrapping would be incredibly difficult. After looking through Pinterest examples, I was apprehensive among my piles of wire, cording, and beads, but decided to dive in rather than let the fear get the best of me. To my delight, it seemed to go pretty well. I still have to work on making sure some of my loops are even and continuous, but overall I wanted to keep going. It was almost like I was back at the shore, chasing the waves and finding more ocean treasures.

Peru (L)Taking a large shell from Mancora, Peru, where I spent my birthday last year, I was taken back to the harsh waves that crashed against me. Once a wave pushed into me and loosened my bathing suit straps, I ducked in the water with embarrassment, and quickly double-knotted my straps. This timidity, however, only continued after I decided to take a surfing lesson with an instructor whom I found to be very attractive, which you can read about in “Surfer Girl.” The strong waves of Mancora reminded me that this crush was not the focus.  Instead, managing the towering waves that eventually pulled me under was more important.

San Diego (L)Working on a smaller shell, I found, was much more complicated. It required more twists and turns and patience, but its smooth, white surface only reminded me more of the softer beaches of San Diego. Some beaches were near cliffs I hiked in La Jolla from “L-ah J-oh-l-lah aka. I wore my shorts for this?,” some on pebbled shores like those of Carlsbad from “Canvas of Flowers,” and some on fine, smooth surfaces with flecks of gold in Coronado from “A Glimpse Into the Past at Coronado and Old Town.” Although I didn’t stay for long, San Diego still remains a place of change and transition. It helped me heal after breakups and family loss. I can still hear my friends living nearby, calling me and convincing me to come back. Maybe I will someday.

As you can imagine, I have more shells, beads, and stones to wrap, and this is becoming more than a hobby. It’s a reminder of where I have been as I move on to where I will go next. I wonder about whoever owns this someday and what story they will be reminded of and take with them. No matter how the story changes, for me, it will always be a memory of getting soaked and wanting to go further beyond the familiar.

What memories of the beach do you have? If you haven’t been to a beach, what memories of the outdoors do you have?

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