Going Back to When I Was a Cranky Teenager for This Tale

Before my happy life as a Santa Barbara  Jeweler, I tried on a lot of attitudes. Did you? Do the chance encounters with people in your past, echo into who you are today? Well they do with me. Here’s one of my strongest echos.

OK Here’s the Cranky Teenager Part

An amazing couple mentored me in one magical hour, before I knew what mentoring was and why you should reach out and help people when you can.

When I was thirteen, I was growing and changing and acting tough and defiant. It kept most of the adults at arms length. But not Anne. We were living in a commune at the time, but that’s another story.

Anne and Thor, Impulsive Commune Mentors

Anne lived there with Thor. I can’t remember his real name and Thor just really fits. This personal earthquake in my development, this major event in my life, this generous mentoring impulsive moment unfolded one sunny Saturday morning.

I came out of my purple room with the horse posters hanging and school books strewn on my bed, ignored. I was smiling, anticipating a day at the stables with my horse, the hours of freedom ahead when I ran in to Anne and Thor walking down the hall.

The Compliment

I had to stop and greet them. Anne complemented me on how pretty I looked and her boyfriend did too, in a super sincere way. I started crying. Dang, I was horrified with myself.

How They Helped Me

They sat me down and we talked about compliments. Then they drilled me on a gentle gradient. Their lesson was “smile and say thank you while looking me in the eye.”

While practicing, I started by saying thank you while starring stony faced at their feet. We kept at it until I was looking at them, saying thank you and laughing. Then we had a big hug fest. I’d been scared of her boyfriend before, because he was so big and hairy looking.

He Looked Like a Hell’s Angel, But He Had a Heart of Gold

It turned out he was a big marshmallow. And after that I was always grabbing him and her and hugging them. I was so lucky to know these beautiful people. I wish I knew them now to tell them how much they helped me in that impulsive moment.

Paying it Forward

Since then I’ve helped teen-aged girls who’ve come across my path in “smiling and saying Thank You and looking in my eyes.” It makes me teary thinking about it. It’s a real gift to give and to receive.

“You’re Beautiful!”

I happily give compliments since Anne and Thor coached me that wondrous day. And  I’m comfortable receiving them. Frankly appreciating beauty in the physical and the intangible is a joyful thing and a life enriching one to share. Just thought I’d share. “You know what? You’re beautiful!”

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About Calla Gold

Calla Gold is a Personal Jeweler and Author who takes pride in working with clients one-on-one to integrate their personal sense of style and taste into custom designed jewelry and repaired jewelry pieces.   Unlike typical Santa Barbara jewelry businesses, Calla Gold has no brick-and-mortar location. Calla Gold comes to you, bringing you the jewelry collection you want to see and collaborating with you to create unique custom jewelry. Calla also works with at-a-distance clients.

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10 years ago

Calla, what a beautiful story to share with us! It’s amazing how difficult it is for most people to accept compliments. I love how your philosophies about jewelry and beauty are empowering! Hooray!

Rhonda Jacques
Rhonda Jacques
10 years ago

After having been bullied as a child, my defense mechanism became putting myself down ( beating them to the punch!), and making self-deprecating jokes. To this day, my immediate response is to make a joking remark! I am now lucky to have a wonderful husband who still keeps complimenting me. Thanks for posting this heart-warming story, Calla.

Karen Rahn
Karen Rahn
10 years ago

It is so refreshing to find people willing to share stories like this one so honestly. I personally have been touched several times by your encouragement and compliments! Keep up the great work, you are a wonderful person to know…

Leif Eric Forsberg
8 years ago

When i read this story i got tears in my eyes. Its really true what you have told here. Many people have experienced this not knowing how to react, like myself, when in young age. Some people can even bring it with them for a long time in their life… Calla Gold, your story, it’s a good example from your life. To tell anybody that is willing to listen or read, because it makes you really moved and think about how and why to change… I already shared this story to my partner and my teenage daughter in my facebook.… Read more »