North Star: a star that is used as a reference point in navigation or astronomy.
A necklace. That’s all it is on the outside. A necklace that we found on sale for $30 towards the end of what would’ve been my first semester of high school. It’s nothing too special: it has no monetary value, the chain is severely tangled, and the pendent is dirty looking beyond the fix of a simple cleaning. Yet, this necklace means so much to me. Why? I was in line at Target a few days after I got it when the lady ringing up my purchases told me she liked my necklace and asked if it meant anything to me. I told her no it didn’t actually, I just thought it looked cool. That turned out to be the last time I ever said that.
For about three months before buying the necklace, I was in the hospital for a swallowing disorder that has a super fancy name that I honestly don’t remember. It was brutal. I was told I was lying, that I was wasting money, and that I was ultimately killing myself for “refusing” to eat, drink, or speak. This was the first time I was introduced to the phrase “find your own North Star” that I heard in passing conversation in the Children’s hospital wing. That phrase sunk in and then it was forgotten in the bustle of medical tests that I was enduring. Flash forward.
I’m sitting in English class in my first day of high school (three months late) rubbing my new necklace between my thumb and forefinger (which for some reason calls me down a great bit in stressful situations), and thinking about the question that was written on the board “What keeps you going?”. I was stuck. I had absolutely no idea. My life had been a living hell the last few months and I didn’t want to keep going. But here I was. So why was I here, what kept me on this Earth right now. It was in that moment that I went back a few pages in my notebook to try to jog some inspiration and saw where I had absentmindedly scrawled “find your own North Star” between notes and a study guide. I didn’t remember writing it, but in that moment those words hit me deep. Find your own North Star.
My necklace is a compass. It’s a dainty necklace with the cardinal directions on it, and in all honesty I had no idea the other directions were on it until just now because the others didn’t mean anything to me. Fun fact of the day 🙂 The find your own North Star meaning to me goes a little like this: No matter what situation you’re in. No matter where you are. No matter where you go. No matter what tragedy hits or celebration occurs or if you lost motivation or if you feel empowered. The stars are always there. They never go away. The stars in your life can be a goal, a dream, aspirations or anything else you could possibly want. In life, there are times you will feel lost, like you have no where to go. You’ve lost where you came from, your sense of direction and feel like you’re ultimately spinning in circles. I encourage you to look up. Find your own North Star. Keep moving. Move towards your goal, dreams, or aspirations. Move towards what you want. The best thing is: it’s your North Star. No one can tell you which one will take you the right way or what decisions will bring you closer to it because their star is different from yours, they’re going another way and that’s okay. North Stars will guide you home.
This necklace (see picture) and its symbolism has guided me through a lot . It’s been through two boyfriends, the loss of a house, the loss of family and friends, two surgeries, more hospital visits than I can count, two trips out of the country, and has inspired me to share my thoughts with you. It is my hope that those of you who read this, whenever you see a compass remember this and look for your North Star and if you’ve gone astray get back on the path. I have faith in you to reach where you are going. You are capable. Find your North Star to bring you home.