Being a New Yorker is such an essential part of who I am. I thrive off the energy and live for the hustle of this city. But it's so easy to get caught in the constant hustle and bustle of NYC. I wanted to start 2018 with a fresh perspective and a grateful heart. And lucky for me, I was able to find both while playing in a room full of confetti!
I teamed up with Jelena, the creator of The Confetti Project to reflect, recalibrate, and reenergize — all while doused in confetti. The Confetti Project is a visual study of the human experience, a space for unencumbered expression, shedding light on how vital it is to stop and check in with ourselves. In other words, I got a photo shoot, therapy session, play time with endless confetti, and most importantly an amazing new friend, all in one!
This incredible project aims to answer the question: what do you celebrate in life? Answering this question was surprisingly hard for me. In the months preceding this shoot I had: gotten my first big girl apartment, accepted a job that I am truly passionate about at a company I love, traveled to my 25th country, celebrated 25 years of life, launched my blog and SO much more. How was I supposed to narrow this down to just ONE thing?! (I know I know, what a great problem to have.) The more I thought about it, the more I realized what I actually celebrate is individuality. So, what does that mean?
I N D I V I D U A L I T Y
I choose to celebrate my life as a whole. Every day is a chance to make the most of it, and I strive to do just that on a daily basis. I am surrounded by the most supportive, loving, and forgiving friends and family I could ever imagine. I work at an incredible political and legal non-profit at a time of such galvanizing political strife and have the privilege of seeing the impact of my work on a daily basis. I recently launched this lifestyle blog focusing on food, fashion + travel (aka ALL of my favorite things), since all of my friends use me as their personal yelp + stylist. I'm also a professional Bollywood dancer, which is the perfect escape from reality and allows me to express different sides of myself. Right now, I stand for feminism and equality — at a time when we need it more than ever. It seems women of color are constantly being marginalized in the United States and across the world. I hope to use my privilege to be a voice for those that are not heard. During this time of political unrest I want to be a reminder that even as a woman of color there is still so much to celebrate and be happy about. With that, I celebrate individuality. The whole concept of everything I do and the reason I share so much of my life on social media and my blog is not because I want other people to be like me. I want other people to be inspired to pursue their dreams, because contrary to what we've been told, it is possible to have it all. I want to celebrate every different aspect of my life and who I am. I don't wake up every morning and feel the same way. I'm not the same person as I was yesterday. And tomorrow I definitely won't be the same person I was two days ago. To me, life is about constantly growing and evolving. I strive to embrace how I feel in the present moment, and be the best version of that person everyday. I want to embrace change, diversity and individuality. I don't know how to explain that in one word but that's what it is: waking up, knowing who I am, knowing what I'm feeling, being the absolute best that I can be, and inspiring those around me to do the same.
How did I figure all of this out while being showered in pounds of confetti? Well, no matter what is going on in your life, it is REALLY hard not to be happy when you're playing in a room full of confetti. So while I was playing around, living out my childhood dreams, it dawned on me: happiness is never too far away, I just need to find it. Whether that's in a room full of confetti, at the bottom of a glass of wine or a pint of ice cream, whether it's through dancing or playing with bubbles, or spending time with my loved ones — it's up to me to find the joy in every single day.
And most importantly, it's also up to me to spread that joy to the people around me every single day. As I proceeded to leave a trail of confetti everywhere I went for well over a week (my roomie can attest to this — sorry, K!), I learned another very important lesson: Happiness, like confetti, cannot be contained.
Photos: Jelena Aleksich, The Confetti Project