This is a photo of a tiny green piece of string. This piece of string was tied to my wrist in April 2009. Though, at the time it was tied to me, it looked more like a beautiful ribbon inscribed with a prayer in Portuguese. Yes. This is a Brazilian Wish Bracelet. Maybe you’ve heard of it before? I don’t know the actual name for them or what they are called in Portuguese (since I know maybe 3 words in Portuguese). But let me tell you the story of this little piece of string and why I now feel so strange without it around my boney wrist.
While on exchange in Germany through Rotary International, I met a lot of other exchange students from all over the world. We would exchange little things from our country with the each other. Of course there were the pins. OH GOD, THE PINS!! These pins would be for our Rotary Blazer. I will make a whole other blog post trying to decipher the mindset behind covering a nice navy blazer with pins to the point where you physically could not add another. But bracelets were also hot commodity among Rotary Youth Exchange Students. There was a time when I had little bracelets from exchange students almost up to my elbows.
Spring marked the EuropaTour for us. Almost 2 weeks travelling Europe hitting countries like Czech Republic, Austria, Italy, and France was amazing. It was in Rome that I received this little green bracelet from a Brazilian girl. Three knots, three wishes, when it falls off your wishes come true. I was more thrilled with the idea of another bracelet for my collection than the wishes. Though, I have always been a little superstitious and loved the idea that maybe when this bracelet falls off those wishes will be true.
Last week, this little bracelet fell off my wrist. My wishes have not actually come true but I cannot say that I actually thought there was a lot of truth behind it. If I really did believe that my wishes depended on this bracelet and now, not having those wishes realized, I would think this would be the reason for my strange feeling of the tiny green string’s departure. So, I’m left here thinking why I feel weird without it. I have come up with two reasons that seem logical to me.
I think it may be because I got so use to having the green string around my wrist. It was attached to me 24/7 since that afternoon in Rome, spring 2009. I got so use to the feeling of the string on my wrist, and now it’s gone. Even if I didn’t take special notice of it, it was always there. I view it in the same way as my tattoo on my hand. I rarely notice it, and often I forget I have it there until someone else points it out to me, but if it ever disappeared I would know something is missing. I have become so accustomed to this piece of string, not having it has left me with a tiny little hole in my heart, or stomach, or wherever you feel a little hole when you know something is wrong without being about to put your finger on it.
The other reason I came up with for this strange feeling is the fact that this was the only constant reminder of such a great time with amazing people. There is no way I will ever forget what I did that year in Germany, and thanks to things like Facebook, I will always remember and be able to contact the people. But that little reminder of that point in my life that would make me smile while spacing out during class (which happens often) is gone. That alone, makes me sad that it is no longer around my wrist.
Regardless of the reason for my strange empty feeling now that this worn out ribbon is not around my wrist anymore, I will be keeping it. It was like a souvenir of a whole time period instead of a place. I don’t just remember the girl who gave me the bracelet, but every one of the exchange students, every one on the tour, every one who was associated with Rotary Youth Exchange, and my adventures through Europe in general. Something that can bring up so many memories (both good and bad) cannot be just thrown out.
RIP Little Green Bracelet: April 2009 – December 2012