We can’t all be stars… but we can all twinkle.
These are the words that have been on my bedroom wall since I was ten years old.
These words I believe.
I loved to learn words when I was little. I devoured them. Sometimes though, I found that there wasn’t a word for the feeling I wanted to describe. I called those moments “twinges”. I recall one “twinge moment” where at four or five years old I stood in the backyard in the rain with my hood above my head, and I felt so gloriously happy for the rain that I could have danced, though I didn’t know why. Now I suppose I’d call something like this a twinkle. To me, a twinkle is a nuance of life, a little thing that makes a day better. It’s a humble appreciation of not only the little things around me, but also of the little things in myself.
Humilis is the Greek word for humility; the quality of being humble, not proud or arrogant. This I’ve always aimed to adopt. I’ve always thought that I was one to twinkle, rather than be an outright star. As well as being an introvert, the quality of being the centre of the room has never appealed to me. I know enough of my own quiet confidence to understand my own little place in the world and I’d rather be a part of a big beautiful collective than to stand quiet and lonely on my own.
Hubris is defined as “extreme pride or self-confidence.” In Ancient Greece, if a man’s hubris offended the Gods, it was typically punished. I recently performed in a play at my school where the central theme was ego. I learned that those who speak extremely highly of their own strengths don’t really know themselves at all. In my personal belief, excessive presumption of one’s abilities can create a façade, for one typically can’t see their own character or how others truly perceive them.
Humbleness. It is a quality I admire. I understand that there are stars and fireworks and people who even live and work and desire to be so grand. But still, not all of us can be that, and as for myself, I don’t want to be. I don’t mean that I desire to do minuscule things – I do in fact have aspirations so big that my brain hurts to think about them all. I simply want to keep my head and live in simplicity. Humility is a finely balanced state that takes a lot of practice, like meditation. Meditation and humbleness are connected in that they require a great amount of gratitude to make for a genuine life. Gratitude, in my definition, is similar to the Indian word Namaste – the twinkle in me recognizes and honours the twinkle in you.
Not only is gratitude looking for the good in people, it’s looking for the good in life as well. Little things like the beautiful smell of bakeries excites me, or walking into my favourite class, or standing in my backyard in the rain. These things make me want to live in the moment and never leave. These daily twinkles I believe.
I was told recently by a favourite teacher of mine that I shouldn’t be so worried about the future because I will surely do great things. He said that anything that I plan to do after high school will be magical and exciting simply because I’ll be the one doing it. This is one of the greatest gifts of words I’ve ever been given, and that is not just because I’m apprehensive and anxious about leaving high school. In my own interpretation, I believe he was trying to say that I have a twinkle. I suppose my own personal twinkle is what makes me who I am. I am humble and small yet I can build mountains by hand. I do not have to sound all my trumpets to gain the love I need. All these things I have within myself. It’s just like Dorothy once said, “If I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look any further than my own backyard.”