Boston: 1/30 – The Chaos of Golden Glitter.

An unexpected burst of inspiration found within the depths of my backpack.

For this year’s Secret Santa gift exchange, everyone at work picked out a personalized globe from a large paper to-go bag. Each globe was uniquely decorated to reflect the person we had to find a present for. I chose my co-worker Stana’s globe which happened to be full of golden glitter and shiny reindeer cutouts. Christmas came and went, all of our gifts were exchanged, but the globe remained in my backpack. It was tucked away in a side pocket, and my backpack is usually a disorganized collection of random nonsense, so the globe made itself right at home. It’s presence slipped my mind until last week when I tried unearthing a bag of yerba mate only to find half of the globe and a handful of glitter. The past week of my life has been full of glitter. It’s everywhere. Here’s a short list of places that I’ve found glitter this week..

  • My backpack, obviously.
  • At the bottom of a mug of tea
  • Underneath the covers of my bed.
  • On Nimbus
  • On the table at Life Alive where I’m currently writing this.

I’ve been keeping a journal of “daily moments of delight” inspired by a book I recently read called the “Book of Delights.” Ross Gay’s book is a collection of mini essays about finding delight hidden within the ordinary, mundane aspects of our days. He’s an avid gardener, so many of his essays involve musings about plants and seeds. So, after finishing his book, I’ve had nothing but delights and gardening on the brain so get ready for a lotttt of gardening references. Within my own journal, I’ve written about star-trek sneakers, a very long debate over whether a ladybug would wear a leaf or a hollow seed as a backpack, an encounter with a stylish baby on the red line, house turtles, and so on. My little book of delights has become a daily routine that pushes me to recognize the little sparks of delight occurring all around. However, glitter did not make it into my book until today.

I wrote my first delight back in November and I’ve been going strong ever since. I’ll continue to fill those pages with little anecdotes, but I’m also looking forward to expanding those stories on here since all of them deserve more than a single page. I’ve mostly focused on delight, but I suppose these posts will consist of delight, joy, and/or happiness since although they’re not always interchangeable, they can all happen simultaneously. Using the work “sparks” reminds me of how catching random shimmers of glitter over the course of a week led to the inspiration for these posts. Scribbling all of these little delights into the pages of my journal has made me more conscious of minor details happening around me. Just like the glitter from my backpack, these little sparks of delight can (and will) be found everywhere.

So, here we gooooo!

The final minutes of 2022 were spent running around at work making sure everyone had enough Prosecco in their glasses, had shots of tequila lined up, or a cold beer cracked open and ready to go. As the clock hit midnight, everyone raised and clinked their glasses together. Regardless of which side of the bar/table you’re on, being able to cheers another person on NYE has always felt better than being alone. I suppose this moment doesn’t necessarily have to occur at midnight, especially since many of those who are clocked-in on NYE often find themselves celebrating the New Years a few minutes later. This is pretty standard across all restaurants though – I remember working NYE right before the pandemic hit, we were all so weeded that we didn’t get a chance to have that moment until ~12:30.

To make the night a little more exciting, we spent the evening collecting notes with “intentions for 2023” from everyone that walked in. We opted for creating intentions rather than setting goals because their broad nature made progress feel more attainable. Instead of focusing on a defined goal for an unpredictable future, intentions allow for you to kinda make it up as you go along. Intentions are not directionless, nor are they arbitrary. They encourage us to be better humans because they inspire a greater sense of autonomy. You’re allowed to navigate the ever-changing conditions of your life without feeling confined to a strict end goal. Intentions provide the framework for the creation of an ever-changing self by giving us the freedom to be our own architects. Intentions remind us that we’re responsible for decorating the walls within our own spaces.

My intention for the year is to “allow myself to feel at home wherever I end up.” I suppose I’ve always liked working during the holidays because it gave me a defined purpose in a room full of people. By working during the holidays, I found a way to wiggle my way into social settings without feeling anxious or out of place. I’ve been working on building a sense of belonging over the last couple years and I think I’ve come a really long way. I’ve always struggled to maintain relationships, and its not that I wanted to be alone, I just didn’t know how to stay. The fear of being a burden was always too much, so I chose to focus all of my energy on making sure everyone else was feeling okay. It didn’t matter what I was going through, I failed to address my feelings of alienation because I didn’t want to inconvenience those around me. On top of that, my inclination to move every couple of months gave me an excuse to bow out without having to admit that I had absolutely no idea how to accept the love and support of others. There is no defined pathway to “feeling home,” but I’m happy with how far I’ve come.

I’ve often struggled to see where I fit into a community because I failed to recognize that no one has a defined role within one. Defined roles are antithetical to the creation of a community — using the existence of a community gardens as an example, they rely on a collective agreement that everyone is free to plant the seeds of their choice. The members of the community are able to come together to nourish themselves while also building a stronger connection to the land underneath them. The very act of planting a seed (literally, but also through conversation or acts of kindness in everyday life) is a radical act of resistance against these feelings of alienation because you’re actively participating in the transformation of an ever-changing community.

After locking the doors at 1am, we continued to play songs that would inspire “main character energy” because we collectively agreed that 2022 simply did not have enough. Celine Dion’s “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now” started playing and the three of us began singing every word. We continued on with our side work only stopping to dramatically reach for the ceiling before gracefully letting our hands fall down our sides. The Miracle of Science became our stage and we were radiating pure melodrama. None of us realized that the outside speakers were on until we noticed a woman outside the window channeling the same exact energy. Within seconds, the three of us went out to the floor to join the woman on the other side of the window. It was the most beautiful rendition of “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now” the world has ever seen.

Inspiration always hits when we least expect it. My motivation to break through the writers block was inspired by a mess of glitter in a backpack. An impromptu Celine Dion quartet led to the first spark of 2023. I’ve always loved strangers, and as a fellow stranger, I firmly believe that encounters with strangers is where a majority of those little sparks happen.

Humans are adorable.

See ya.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s