As my gap year rears its end and my adventures abroad have temporarily come to a close, I’m back home and I wanted to share what an average day in my life has been like in Miami, Florida. I begin my day at around 7 A.M.—something I can’t say is normal on the weekends—and make sure my baby sister is still sleeping. If she’s awake, I’ll take care of her until my parents wake up but more often than not, she’ll still be asleep for a few more hours. On days like today, I have extra time so I can make coffee and read a book that I’ve been meaning to finish; Today’s title is one I picked up at my library, so I have to finish it before it’s due. I’ll then get ready, greet my mom who gets up early for work with a cup of coffee, and leave the house to get to the library I volunteer at on time.
When there, I’ll grab my “Volunteer” lanyard and go to get my tasks for the day from my volunteer coordinator. When I first started at the library one of my main jobs was creating collages from recycled old manga that would’ve otherwise been discarded to help decorate the library’s newer manga section. However, every day is a little different depending on where I’m needed. Today I found children’s books for an upcoming Father’s Day display as well as picked out books that were reserved to check out, organized checked-in books, and checked to make sure that we had an accurate count of the artwork that is meant to be there.
Something I find really fascinating about where I volunteer is that the Miami-Dade Public Library System has its own Permanent Collection of art that, according to their website, “is a reference resource that reflects Miami’s cultural composition and chronicles its artistic and social history” with “Many works [that] relate to language, libraries and literary themes.” Every day I get to be around a variety of amazing art pieces but the one I always come back to is piece by Andy Warhol titled Flowers (Black and White) 107. It’s located in the Children’s Section of my library and to me it represents all the possibilities of color (or lack thereof) and how in the eyes of the children who see it, it can be anything they want it to be. What I love most about the work I do is that volunteering in the library is not only extremely fulfilling because I’m surrounded by art and beauty, but also because I’ve also been able to add to the art around me and help others connect to it and I still get to work with art and express my creativity.
When I finish volunteering and head home, I read the rest of my book, practice and learn new words in Italian, and take care of my sister until my parents finish work. I also decided to work on a few hobbies of mine like crochet and drawing. Finally, I’ll get ready for bed, scroll on my phone for a bit, and finally fall sleep so I can do it all over again tomorrow.