Wow. It has kind a really long time since I wrote on this blog. Kind of forgot I had it. A lot has changed since September 11, 2012 when I wrote my last post. I did a semester of grad school, I got a new (real!) job at a marketing firm, I have another niece, Vivienne, I moved out of my parents, I had surgery and had to start running all over again, dated a few guys.
I figure with a new year and so many big changes, maybe I should try to spend some time writing creatively again, and putting some creative effort into what I eat-enough that it is worthy of telling you about, anyway.
So, I don’t promise I’ll write every day, or even once a week (Lord willing, that’s the goal!). Cheers to a fresh year filled with a million possibilities. To start off, I thought I’d share an article I wrote a couple of months ago.
Why I Kept My Purity Ring On
There wasn’t a singular moment in which I decided that I no longer was going to wear my purity ring. There was, instead, a series of events that made me question the rigidity to which I held in wearing it. The ring was given to me by my father when I turned thirteen. I had been excited about getting it; I had seen my two older sisters receive theirs. In some ways, it represented a rite of passage for me; entering into a new season of life—not quite adulthood—but certainly a more grown up one in which I entered a world of boys, dating, and a recognition of sexuality. My parents didn’t give it to me in the hopes that it would act as some sort of chastity belt, that is, that it was the deciding factor in me choosing to make certain decisions or not. Rather, it simply symbolized a commitment to purity and their support of me in choosing that commitment.
I’ve worn that ring for twelve years. At some point, I think, wearing it lost much of its meaning and it became something I just did without giving it much thought. I still hold to the commitment, but in some ways it lost it’s meaning to me. There is a certain sentimental value it holds—a gift I’ve had for many years, an enduring symbol. Has coming along those twelve years with that choice of purity always been easy? No, of course not. I don’t think I ever looked at the ring in any moment of temptation and by looking at it felt dissuaded. I still made the choice to be pure, but it was because I had already made that choice, ring or not. Wearing the ring has led to some interesting discussions, with friends, with coworkers, with complete strangers even. People typically respect the choice, but are mystified by the ring.
We live in a hyper-sexualized society and little is held sacred anymore. Marriage is often viewed as a worthless act or a suffocating entity. Purity is viewed as being overtly prude, or as a statement of judgment on those who have not chosen that particular path. Therefore, my decision to wear a symbol of what I believe in is an attempt to be different. Just as someone who is married wears a wedding ring to symbolize and show their marriage, I wear a ring that symbolizes and shows my choice to not do certain things before I’m married. I didn’t make that choice to be rigid or because my “religion” states it is a must. I do it as a protection for my heart and my body and to give my future spouse all of me, unshared with anyone else. If that married person isn’t wearing their ring, their still married and they don’t have to have the ring in order to be married. It’s just a symbol, but an important one.
I actually stopped wearing my purity ring for a while. Maybe to make a statement, maybe to do something different. And then I realized that, no, this is an important thing to me. So now, I try put it on more consciously. It isn’t a statement meant to judge someone else or act as a barrier between me and temptation. It is a statement both to others and to myself of my choice to carry on with this decision to embrace purity.