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Periaktoi Writing Post

Volume 56
Issue 1

Single Visual Art Post

  • Essay
I Believe in Talismans
I believe in talismans. If you don’t know, talismans are traditionally a specific type of rock or stone jewelry with prophetic, religious, or so-called magical meanings. Though, that’s far more complicated than what I believe. Talismans can also just be a plain-ole good luck charm. It’s something that keeps you motivated just knowing that it’s there. I believe that something as simple as a bobby pin can make all the difference.
In third grade, I was given a few sparkly bobby pins as a merde gift for Nutcracker from our new ballet teacher. In the years following, that same teacher turned into the person who, I can undoubtedly say, influenced me most as a dancer. Fast forward to May of 2020, and she abruptly left both my studio and Chattanooga as a whole. Every time I walked into the studio after that day, it felt like a piece of it was missing. Meanwhile, remember those bobby pins from years ago? Yep, they had been casually sitting in my closet waiting to be used for too long. So, starting my first class back that summer, I decided to wear that same bobby pin on the side of my bun. Every. Single. Day. Every time I saw it in the mirror during class or grasped onto it in the wings before a show, I would remember how fun ballet could be and how much I loved to dance. Somehow, just knowing it was there, seemed to bring a wave of relief and instant happiness. And even better, it came with a collection of warmhearted memories from years before.
At first, I thought I was crazy, how could a silly little bobby pin calm my nerves and seem to make me dance better? It wasn’t really helping, right? In fact, I thought it was so 479 words ridiculous, when my friends asked, I never said it was anything more than a hair accessory. However, at this point, I don’t think I could comfortably walk into the studio without it. What was once a pretty, yet meaningless, device to keep my bun intact became a talisman for me. A lot of the time, good luck charms aren’t intentional. I didn’t decide one day that this particular bobby pin would bring me good luck. I merely intended to wear it to remind me of the person I missed, certainly not to be the single thing getting me through a good show. For me, it’s not just seeing it that changes everything. It’s holding on so tightly to remember a million things that I can laugh and smile about from years before, but a talisman doesn’t have to be physical. Some people have rituals, routines, songs they listen to, or a specific breakfast they eat. Every talisman is unique but having something you always know will be there to bring good spirits is what I believe in.