This is a theory that has been swimming around in my mind for a while now, and I think it’s about time to get it written down. For those that need to revise it, or for those that have never heard it before. So here it is in all its glory.
THE SPARKLE THEORY.
In order to introduce this theory I think I need to supply you with some context. The sparkle theory came about after a particularly brutal break up. A break up that really shook me, that left me feeling empty, confused, lost, damaged, and like an echo of my former self. During these times, you know these times, in the brutal loneliness of new found singledom, fuelled by wine, cigarettes, and great catch ups with old friends evolved this theory. A theory that not only got me through this break up, but through toxic friendships, and just a general better sense of wellbeing. A theory, that in turn has been passed on to others to help them, And now it’s yours.
So, how it works. Each person, is born with a certain amount of Sparkles. Some of us, are very happy to show off our sparkles, throwing them around willy nilly. Some of us are quiet sparklers, only showing them to those that are nearest and dearest to us. Some of us are tactical sparklers, being very economic with them and only showing them off at the right moment, and some of us are sparkle exploders. We have no control over our sparkles they just generally fly out by accident and we can tend to get ourselves in very sticky situations. Now, let me make this clear, EVERYONE is born with sparkles. It is very rare indeed (I would safely say I have never met anyone yet that has absolutely zero sparkles). But it is how we use sed sparkles that is important, and particularly important for this theory. How we use our sparkles, breaks us down into various categories. The more easily you can 1, identify yourself within the sparkle theory, and 2, identify the qualities in someone else, the more useful this theory can be.
So, the different types of Sparklers are as follows:
Sparkle sizzlers are secretly my fave. These kind of people are basically the best. They have their own sparkles, which they are happy with, They may not throw them around all the time because frankly they don’t need to. They know they aren’t the brightest sparklers, but that’s because they don’t WANT to be. They will happily be around sparkly people, encouraging them to be sparkly, and just revel in their sparkles, they just save their own sparkles for those intimate moments. Silent Heroes.
You know you are a sparkle sizzler if, you find yourself more reserved in social situations, you don’t want or need to be the centre of attention, but you enjoy smaller groups where everyone is wonderful to each-other. Chances are, if you are a sparkle sizzler, you wouldn’t even know it, as you don’t pay attention to yourself, you’re way more focused on how great everyone else is.
If you are a sparkle fish, it means you are very generous with your sparkles. It goes from the old story of the fish, who had very bright glittery scales. He was teased by the other fish, so he decided to share his sparkles with them so that everyone could be a sparkle fish. (Be warned, being a sparkle fish does NOT MEAN YOU SHOULD EVER GIVE AWAY YOUR SPARKLES! I personally think the sparkle fish should have swam away into the ocean and taught those un-sparkly fish a lesson). Sparkle Fish are frivolous, and unconsciously throw sparkles around because they want everyone to be sparkly and have a good time.
Sparkle Fish although wonderful, can have a tendency to burn out very quickly. You know you’re a sparkle fish if you find yourself being preoccupied with everyone else also having a great time, and trying to be the one that provides it
These ones are bit tricky to figure out. Over sparklers are generally people that are not so great at managing their sparkles. The can sometimes be a bit socially volatile, sometimes throwing out too many sparklers, and competing to be the sparkliest person in the room. They don’t usually mean to drown out anybody’s sparkles, mostly they just get confused about what being sparkly really is, and draw too much attention to themselves. Mostly fun, but sometimes high maintenance. They can often accidently take your sparkles because you spend a lot of time managing them. Amongst closest friends they are sparklefish, they can just get a bit overexcited.
THESE are the people you need to watch out for, and there are quite a few about. Sparkle stealers are stealthy. They see you being sparkly, throwing sparkles around, making everyone feel good, making them feel good, and instead of throwing in some of their own sparkles, they just take yours. Most of us have encountered a sparkle stealer at some point. The attack your self esteem, they put you down to make themselves feel better. The steal your sparkles, and try and pass them off as their own, because for whatever reason, they don’t want to se their own sparkles. Sparkle Stealers + Sparkle Fish is a tricky equation to solve. A sparkle fish will always want to give out their sparkles, to make everyone feel good, but a sparkle stealer will always take them. Often they will take them and even try and make you feel bad for trying to give them in the first place. I know. The worst.
Tell a lie, these are actually the worst. Sparkle dousers are the next level up from sparkle stealers, and should basically be avoided at all costs. Sparkle dousers cannot tolerate sparkles. They can’t stand anybody else’s sparkles, and they especially don’t want them. Not only do they not want them, but they don’t want anyone else to have them. The actively try to destroy sparkles. They may be in the presence of a sparkle fish, and not even take their sparkles, but just do everything they can to make them feel unsparkley. The sparkle dousers dream is a world without sparkles. Their superpower would be to crush sparkles with their bare hands. They are sparkle assasins. And they are to be avoided, actively avoided at all costs.
The thing with sparkles is it’s all down to management. Many combinations of levels of sparkle can work, and hey if you want to take your chances on a sparkle douser then do by all means. My problem, with this particular break up was, that I realized I was with someone that just wanted to take my sparkle, and wasn’t interested in whether I was a Sparklefish or not. After the break up, I was totally drained. I didn’t feel excited about anything, I felt ashamed and embarrassed of myself, I felt almost alien in my own body. I felt like all the sparkles had been sucked out of me and I didn’t have the energy to find them again.
The thing I realized is, you don’t run out of sparkles. We can all produce, and reproduce sparkles, we just need to allow them to re-generate. I know that’s all well and good, but the question really is HOW. HOW DO I GET MY SPARKLES BACK WHAT THE FUCK ARE THEY ARE WHERE DO I FIND THEM.
So here’s a few ideas.
Sparkles don’t and can’t disappear forever so don’t panic. Sometimes we just forget what we look like. The thing is, if you find yourself with a sparkle stealer, sometimes the relationship can seem so totally about them, and making them happy, you just forget about your sparkles all together, and then all of a sudden your left on your own, and you don’t recognize yourself. This for me, was so drastic when we broke up I’d genuinely felt like a stranger in my own body. Every part of me was so used to doing and giving everything to them, it took me a long time to allow myself to be nice to myself again. I got in a vicious cycle of lots of sex, lots of booze, and lots of trouble, anything I could do to distract myself from trying to go down the path of self negotiation again. Really being alone by myself, and reminding myself of what I like seemed excrutiating. What I found helped me was:
1. Be alone. Be really truly alone. For an hour, for a day, for a week, as long as you need. Abandon your phone, and the emotional crutch of social media. And let yourself feel what it is to be completely by yourself, it is only in these moments where instinct takes over, where you can really identify what your wants, needs and desires are, outside of the perspective of others really are. And this is what will help you identify what you like, and what satisfies you.
2. Eliminate. One of the best things I ever did was actually decide, and choose, not to indulge in anyone’s behavior that I did not agree with, or did not want to be around. We all have them, those demanding friendships where it often feels like you are constantly going the extra mile, for no return or appreciation. As soon as I made an active decision to just do whatever I wanted to do, I noticed these ‘friendships’ just crumble away. Everything is much clearer when you’re not balancing a multitude of different attitudes that ultimately, arnent actually in your best interest.
3. Keep your friends close, and your close friends even closer. Start to really identify the people that make you feel like the best possible version of yourself, and be around those people as much as you can. Its not just about being around people that entertain you, but also being around people that make you feel great for being who you are. We see ourselves in the way that people reflect us, be around people where you think it Is the most honest and greatest version of yourself helps you see the most positive aspect of who you are. Who makes you feel like a Sparklefish? Be around THOSE people.
Be really careful, during these difficult times, that you find, yourself drained of sparkles, that your begin to steal them from other people, this can happen totally by accident. You find yourself being a bit more jealous, and cutting when there is really no reason to be. You also want to be careful during these times that you don’t confuse being a sparklefish with burning out. Sparkles are about self- nourishment, not self-destruction. Sometimes you can throw out too many sparkles just to try to distract people from seeing how much pain you are in. It will work, for a while. Just make sure you have good friends to catch you after you burn out, like I did. Believe me you won’t be able to do it without them. The reboot from using sparkles to disguise yourself is hard.
Sparklers, and the sparkle theory, like Einstein’s theory of relativity and ‘The Force’ for example, can be used for good and evil. But really, it should simplify everything. Be around those that you make feel good, and make you feel good. The best combinations, is just a sparkle exchange, where those bad boys are flying everywhere, filling the room and making everyone feel good. If you just got an image of where that place is, and who those people are, give them a call. Throw them a sparkle, and for god sakes don’t let those sparklefish swim out of your life. You may need them one day to throw a sparkle back when you need it most.