The Japanese art form in which broken pottery is mended with lacquer and gold. I feel that this truly sums up experiences in my life and the lives of other teens that have faced hardships but have finally found their gold.

For example, when I started high school, I had no clue what to expect. I had gone from being a top achiever in my class to a student who barely made it to the top 20 in my grade. This comparison between myself and others caused one of my first big breaks in the pottery that was my life. I then found friendship among people who had made me feel unloved, undeserving, unworthy. People that encouraged and were the cause of months of self-harm and destruction. People that made me feel suffocated and alone all at once. This caused another break.

Then I encountered love. That marvelous and mysterious thing we all saw in the movies. Where the guy sweeps the girl off her feet, brings her flowers and chocolates, and makes her feel giddy. He was nothing of the sort. He was the kind to kiss and tell and a friend would want a "kiss" too. He showed me a mediocre love that lowered my self-esteem. It felt as if I was worthy of this mediocrity. It felt as if I was worth this unwanted advances. It felt as if I was worth less than I actually was. The pottery broke further as he broke my fragile heart. The pottery kept breaking.  With the death of an old man who gave me hope. With the rejection of boys who I felt unworthy of. With the emotional abuse of best friends threatening suicide. With the pressure of good grades when my parents struggled to find a better roof over our heads. The pottery shattered.

Thousands of small porcelain pieces lay astray. And then I found my gold... My gold was found in the light brown flecks in his eyes. My gold was found in his warm and loving embrace. My gold was found in the reassurance and the growth. My gold was found in the growing support of a family of 5. My gold was in my small kittens and puppy. My gold was in my writing, my books, and my music. My gold was in friends that restored my faith in friendship, a soulmate who restored my faith in love, and a family who restored my faith in humanity. The gold mended the splintered pieces of porcelain and transformed it into a masterpiece.

Kintsugi is not just an art form, it is a metaphor for life. Once something is broken, it is not destroyed completely. What seems broken are simply the pieces to a work of art more beautiful than before. Your pottery may be shattered, it may keep breaking, but the beauty of life is that you search for the gold. You build yourself up to be a stronger, better, and more beautiful human. Life is like kintsugi. Look past the broken pieces and search for your gold. 

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