when i got the invite, my first instinct was to do as i always do: scroll, scan, click, delete. but convenience (the venue was literally across the street from my office) and the lure of free cocktails was enough to let the email linger longer than the usual ten seconds from inbox to digital incinerator.
“squarespace is coming to chicago! join us for a meet up to connect with fellow bloggers and share tips, ideas and inspiration.”
though a schmoozy networking event was the furthest from my idea of fun (especially given my near-nonexistent free time), i decided as the date came closer that it couldn’t hurt to check it out, if only for a couple free drinks and post-work curiosity.
to my surprise, while stuffing my face with sliders and st. germain, i got to speak with the most eclectic, interesting group of people that i’d probably ever encountered in one room.
a hubbard street dancer. a trombone sheet music transcriber. a nonprofit marketer. a privacy lawyer battling big tech behemoths like google and facebook. a jazz musician. and several aspiring photographers embracing the escape from the drudgery of their day jobs…and that was all within 20 feet of the entrance.
i enjoyed a few enlightening conversations and dutifully exchanged some cards…but the biggest takeaway for me was marveling at this amazing, quirky collection of people—all unique individuals, insanely passionate about their tiny little corner of the universe.
one conversation in particular struck a chord.
“it’s called ‘making stardust’.”
“oohhh! that sounds beautiful,” i said. “what does it mean?”
“well i’m a graphic designer, and my blog is a place where i post daily doodles from my moleskin, whether it’s drawings or sketches—basically anything that comes out of my brain and onto the paper on any given day. i named it ‘stardust’ based on the scientific theory that we are all essentially made out of dust particles from a huge stellar explosion millions of years ago. you know that theory?”
nope, i didn’t…so off to google i went.
according to science daily, “every element on earth…was created in the heart of some massive star. and the heaviest elements— such as gold, lead and uranium—were produced in a supernova explosion during the cataclysmic end of a huge star's life…the iron in our blood and the calcium in our bones were all forged in such stars. we are made of stardust.”
imagine all these fragments, artifacts, pieces and parts, coming together to create every individual on this planet. sprinkles of celestial light, brimming with energy and potential…and before us, the opportunity to burn bright. or like stars, fade off into the distance with barely a flicker.
as i write this post, i’m on a plane, returning from a trip to arizona. flying through the clouds, over painted deserts, vast mountains and endless skies, it’s easy to feel tiny, insignificant. but what if we believed our unique perspective, our voice, our ideas or even doodles, could deliver an impact, make an impression, influence a situation or inspire a single person.
wouldn’t it be worth it. to act. to express. to share. to risk.
they say a flap of one butterfly’s wings can cause seismic shifts in the universe…maybe that’s what it’s all about. to live with intention—in whatever corner of the world you’re in, in whatever way inspires you most.
push out of the comfort zone. embrace, rather than avoid, those cosmic collisions. the atoms within you and around might shift. but in the grand scheme, wouldn’t you rather go out with a bang than a blip?