On my way home from class today, I got entirely too excited about perfectly shaped snowflakes falling onto my windshield. Literally, perfectly shaped snowflake clusters with 6 points and everything. I can now say that well proportioned snowflakes are real in all their glittering perfection. More importantly, the event was an instance of everyday magic, or that’s what I like to call it. A phenomenon I’m quite fond of, everyday magic is a celebration of the mundane in a new and exciting way. Of course I know that snowflakes have six points and no two are alike, but I never took the time to actually notice it “in the flesh.” As the six sided figures hit my car, I was finding novelty in a commonality I have been experiencing my whole life: snowfall.
I think having an eye for everyday magic is an important aspect of leading a fulfilling life. Naturally, I like to create excitement where there otherwise may be none and inject it into the monotony of everyday life. Otherwise, we would have just another snow storm and another obstacle to overcome before we could get to the seemingly better (and warmer) days of tomorrow. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not perfect. There are days when I furiously drum my fingers on my desk whilst reading about macroeconomics and studying French, bitterly distracted by the imagined vitality of the future. I picture myself drinking cocktails in an apartment overlooking Manhattan while visiting with a vast number of celebrated people. While it’s important to have a vision and I do not doubt what I am capable of, days like today remind me of how important the present is. It’s inconceivable how powerful a moment of clarity and appreciation can be.
Almost childlike, fresh eyes and an open heart have the ability to make the mundane feel new. There is a revived aliveness in what seems dull and harrowing: a silver lining. That’s why when I run up the steps of Penn Station and walk out onto 7th Avenue, I stand dumbfounded like a first timer, snapping photos I’ve probably taken before. The way the light illuminates this building or that one, the change in seasons, and the variety of people feel new time after time.
For those reasons, there is a certain wholesomeness as to why I want to live in the city. Despite the fact that I romanticize New York to a great extent, I don’t have unrealistic expectations about “getting discovered” or becoming some sort of socialite, as if my happiness is contingent on my status in society. Those paths may be nice but what really excites me about living in the city is the opportunity to lead a life different from the one I have lived for 2 decades now. There are only so many years to live and I am attempting to experience life fully by trying everything I can, exploring different lifestyles, and finding little moments to be excited while doing everyday activities. There is not enough time to be bored.
This line of thinking has lead me to both romanticism and bohemianism. If you’re unfamiliar with the terms, romanticism refers to a mindset prevalent in the late 18th century until about the mid-19th century. According to Britannica, romanticism is categorized as an “attitude or intellectual orientation” that influenced several forms of art including: architecture, literature, music, etc. After spending a little time reading about it on Britannica, this stuck out to me: “romanticism emphasized the individual, the subjective, the irrational, the imaginative, the personal, the spontaneous, the emotional, the visionary, and the transcendental.” It’s almost as if they were describing me. Seriously. Explanation: complete.
Bohemianism is a little trickier to explain. The understanding of what is Bohemian has evolved drastically since the 1850s. In order to give you a better idea, I read a piece on BBC titled “What is bohemian?” by Andy Walker from 2011. A fairly recent article, it gives a good historic overview of the term. According to his research, Walker defined the word “bohemian” as a term born in Paris “with pejorative undertones” used to identify Roma Gypsies. Beyond that, the term evolved into what we are more familiar with today as the “connotation rapidly became a romantic one.” Essentially, as Walker put it, “bohemianism represented a personal, cultural, and social reaction to the bourgeois life.” For me, moving to New York is a reaction to materialism and unjust, traditional societal standards. This is where I see bohemianism fitting into my life and I’m happy with it at that. La vie Bohème.
But for now, school’s closed, I’m home, and I’m about to have a pajama party with my cat, The Fresh Prince of Arendelle. Quite literally though, as his name is Olaf, just like the snowman and… it’s snowing. Oh how I love allusions.