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Sunshine's picture


Although I usually try to stay away from the expected, I decided to go ahead and make my Username Sunshine and my avatar a picture of a (glittery) sun. 


My relationship with the sun has been eternal. I’ve always loved the feeling on the sun on my skin. My perfect moment is when I am lying in the grass (or a hammock), the sun is brightly shining, and it is slightly breezy. Maybe I am reading a book, and soft music is playing in the background. The whole point is that in this moment I feel boundless bliss, a warmth in my heart. And it that type of happiness  that I hope for, and that type of happiness that I hope I can invoke in others. It is also important to me to know that the sun does go down, but it will always come up again in the morning. 


Last semester I told one of my friends that I was not happy with the name “Gabby,” and I wasn’t sure about the name “Gabrielle,” so she gave me the nickname "Sunshine.” It was a nickname that she had when she was younger, so she “passed it on” to me. Since then I have done a lot of reflecting on the word “Sunshine,” and what it means to me. This past weekend I was doing some crafts, (as a college student does) and I spelt out in big bubble letters “SUNSHINE” above my windows. I had been thinking for a while what I wanted to put there on the empty part of my wall, and nothing else seemed so appropriate. 


I think I can also connect “Sunshine” to my identity as a West Indian. My mother was born and raised in Trinidad, and my father was born and raised in Guyana. Although I am American, I have a strong desire, as most first-generation Americans probably do, to reconnect and be a part of my parent’s culture’s. I went to Trinidad for two weeks over the summer for my cousin’s wedding, and couldn’t be happier to feel closer to my Trini roots. It also feels great to have a deeper understanding of what I can accept from my American identity, and what I can embrace from my Trini side. Trinidad is a Caribbean island so obviously people would connect it to the sun and the beach. 


I also made a conscious decision to make my avatar glittery. Glitter, to me, also means boundless bliss, but in a different way. Many people I know do not like glitter (I know that sounds ridiculous, but it’s true). How could you not like something that can turn ANYTHING into something fun? Ten page paper? Boring work uniform? Wonky flower crown? All are drastically improved and more enjoyable with a little glitter. So despite the complaints I have gotten from my HA, ( who claims glitter is too messy, but obviously has not considered glitter glue) and my friends (who threatened not to give me a hug for a month because I put glitter in my hair for Hell Week), I see glitter as a declaration of happiness, joy, and always looking for the silver lining of a dark gray cloud.


Kristin's picture

My username is my own name. I chose water as my avater. Water is my element. My body and mind are happiest in water. I swim in ponds, lakes, streams, pools, and the ocean. Water interacts with nearly everything on the plant (except oil, with which it still has an interesting relationship). It finds its own shape in relation to its environment. When I can locate it, I'll replace this photo with one I took this summer of water running over rocks, reshaping them over time.