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  • Writer's pictureLotte Wubben-moy

meaning through the tangle

Updated: Aug 12, 2021

My north star around my neck x


Have you ever persevered through something in a way that's surprised you?

Given an extra few words, an extra minute; given an extra mile that you wouldn't give to something else?

Ever wondered what it was that gave you the extra push?


I've never been too materialistic. I mean I take a guilty pleasure in trainers, but I've never been one to lust after jewellery - part of that might be for my being less of a girly girl, but maybe more so because my jewellery always seems to end up in a tangle.

This past weekend we played Chelsea in an afternoon Women's Super League fixture. Putting aside the score and looking beyond the moment for what it was - I came away with a lot more than just a sore heart for losing out on two points - I came away with a tangled necklace.

Before every game I remove all my jewellery, among which are two necklaces; a silver one with a small ball on and a gold one with a delicate star on. Then after every game, I am faced with the challenge of finding the necklaces AND getting them back around my neck. (That might sound dramatic, but I think any sportsperson who wears jewellery and has to take them off before competition, can agree with me when I say that it is one of the trickiest but most necessary parts of our pre-game and most match routines.)

After Sunday's game, I pulled my necklaces out of a dark crevasse of my bag, glanced at it, and immediately knew this tangle wasn't a changing room affair. When I got home, I tried to tackle it. I gave it 5 minutes. No good, too tired.

Come Monday evening, and I find myself spending an hour sat trying to untangle the necklaces. Fingers peeling raw from grabbing the fine chain and trying to weave it through, the what seemed like endless, strains of silver and gold. Nightmare.

Sat there, thinking about all the time I was wasting- when I should have been studying for my finals - I had to remind myself that it wasn't just a waste of time...

Most people might've stopped at 5 minutes of untangling failure, but to me, to untangle those necklaces weren't just so I could wear some necklaces again. I needed to untangle them to reinstate the meaning I had given those necklaces.

The gold necklace with the star on was given to me by some dear friends of mine before I left North Carolina a few months ago. The star is "my north star".

It's a beautifully delicate chain, but that's not why I so desperately wanted it untangled. It could've been a plastic beaded necklace or a straw string round my neck, and I would still have shown the same amount of perseverance to untangle the necklace. This isn't about the fact it was a pretty thing or an object etc...

Meaning has always given me a reason to go one step further. It gives me a reason to persevere.

Meaning is a little thing that can have a not so little impact.

Give something enough meaning, and it can carry you through the most frustrating, tedious, and annoying times.

Yes, this is ironic because I'm only talking about untangling a necklace. But think about the things you've attached meaning to over the years... The old t-shirt you'll never throw away, the person you'd travel through wind, snow, and rain for, the piece of work you'd pull an all-nighter for. These are all examples of the way meaning, if we can attach it to things in our life, can be a guiding force and takes over us - even towards insanity (spending hours pulling a silver chain) - yet be what brings us the most sanity at the end of the day.

Let me tell you, I more than found peace having untangled that chain. It's just a little thing, but it made all the difference...

How can you use meaning to get you through the toughest times? At the end of the day, it doesn't matter what others think. What matters is what you think (since you're the one who will have to sustain and persevere through whatever may be between you and that thing you've given meaning to).

Think beyond the ironic example of a tangled necklace, because that means nothing to you, think of how adding meaning to your actions, words, things, can have a not so little impact.

Meaning is a not so little thing.

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