Reverb10: February 2011

One month into 2011, what question(s) are you living?

Are there any prompts/questions that arose during #reverb10 that are still resonating with your life?

Are you living new questions?

 

When things – life, work, my relationship, a friendship – would get tough or hit a rough spot, the old me would invariably ask, “Why me?” I would, more often than not, place the blame elsewhere. Anywhere else, in fact, but on myself.

I’ve grown. I don’t handle things perfectly now, and I still find myself starting down the “Why me?” road from time to time, but recent life experiences have taught me that it’s not so much about the why, but about the how and the what.

How does it make you feel? What are you going to do about it?

What’s next?

 

I used to spend so much time dwelling on the wrong questions. How did I get here? What could I have done differently? Why me?

I lived in the past. To a certain point, it’s good to look back and realize what decisions and turns you took brought you to your current state of being, but I almost always took it too far. I dwelled. Instead of trying to figure out what to do next, I would get stuck on what previously happened.

It was counterproductive. It was stressful and took me down an ugly path.

So now, instead of playing the blame game and pointing fingers, I try to take responsibility and look for a way out.

What’s next?

 

Photo: Armands Brants

Light at the end of the tunnel: Reverb10.30-10.31

In an attempt to travel further down the path of self-discovery, I’ve decided to participate in Reverb 10, which is an annual event and online initiative to reflect on your year and manifest what’s next.


December 30: Gift

This month, gifts and gift-giving can seem inescapable. What’s the most memorable gift, tangible or emotional, you received this year?

There were a few, actually. I got a gorgeous pearl ring, a set of diamond earrings (hello, potential burglars!), a family recipe homemade cookbook and a metaphorical slap in the face/eye-opener… the slap in the face being possibly the most valuable.

December 31: Core story

What central story is at the core of you, and how do you share it with the world? (Bonus: Consider your reflections from this month. Look through them to discover a thread you may not have noticed until today.)

I’ve mentioned it here before, but I lost my dad when I was 16. There have been countless other events in my life that have shaped me into who I am today, but that single event is at the core of me, of who I am and who I will always be.

It took me a long time to be able to talk about it openly. Now, I have no problem talking about it. Sure, I might get a little choked up, but I would rather remember him by talking about him as often as possible, and take the risk of being sad, than forget him. I promised myself a long time ago to never forget him.

Also, bonus schmonus.

The end

Part of me is pretty surprised I actually made it through the entirety of Reverb10. Granted, it wasn’t a daily thing for me, but I did it.

But now I’m glad to be done with it. It was nice to look back at the year, to try to remember and write about some things I might not otherwise, but now…

It’s time to look ahead. Moving forward.

Photo: Alan Cleaver

There’s, clearly, more to it than just this: Reverb10.23-10.29

In an attempt to travel further down the path of self-discovery, I’ve decided to participate in Reverb 10, which is an annual event and online initiative to reflect on your year and manifest what’s next.

December 23: New name

Let’s meet again, for the first time. If you could introduce yourself to strangers by another name for just one day, what would it be and why?

I wouldn’t change a single thing about my name – first, last or middle.

December 24: Everything’s OK

What was the best moment that could serve as proof that everything is going to be alright? And how will you incorporate that discovery into the year ahead?

There was one moment this fall, when my life started to fall apart bit by bit, when a coworker looked me straight in the eye and said, “You’ll be fine.”

No profound words, no deeper meaning. But this one little phrase, coming from her – a smart, truly SMART woman – meant the world.

December 25: Photo – a present to yourself

Sift through all the photos of you from the past year. Choose one that best captures you; either who you are, or who you strive to be. Find the shot of you that is worth a thousand words. Share the image, who shot it, where, and what it best reveals about you.

This is who I am – an aunt to two beautiful twin girls. K and S are the lights of my life.

This is who I want to be – a positive role model for these girls.

I took this photo of my nieces and I in July 2010. It may not be the best photo of the girls (or myself), but you try getting a good self-portrait of you with two 2-and-a-half-year-olds! This photo melts my heart. This is who I am and who I want to be – and who I need to remember as I make life decisions.

December 26: Soul food

What did you eat this year that you will never forget? What went into your mouth & touched your soul?

Maybe it’s a good thing I delayed writing this, because I just got back from a trip to Leavenworth, and let me tell you – everything I ate there touched my soul. I had a delicious brat at Munchen Haus and amazing shrimp cooked in tequila at Katz Chop House, among lots and lots of other food (pretty sure I gained about 10 pounds in my two days there).

I think the brat, though – the whole experience, really – was the best. It was something I craved for days before I arrived in Leavenworth, and am still craving even now. YUM.

December 27: Ordinary joy

Our most profound joy is often experienced during ordinary moments. What was one of your most joyful ordinary moments this year?

I remember, after buying the house in March, going to Lowe’s to look for a washer and dryer. Nothing exciting, just a new laundry set. Though not cheap, I think of that as a pretty ordinary thing… and I was really, really happy doing it.

December 28: Achieve

What’s the thing you most want to achieve next year? How do you imagine you’ll feel when you get it? Free? Happy? Complete? Blissful? Write that feeling down. Then, brainstorm 10 things you can do, or 10 new thoughts you can think, in order to experience that feeling today.

The thing I most want to achieve in 2011 isn’t an actual act. The thing I most want to achieve is a feeling, an emotion, a state of mind. I want to achieve clarity, and peace of mind. And, really, that’s such an urgent thing that if I knew 10 things I could do, right now, to achieve that… well, I’d do it.

December 29: Defining moment

Describe a defining moment or series of events that has affected your life this year.

This one is too personal, too painful to post here. But rest assured, there was a defining moment, a defining series of events, that drastically changed my life and is continuing to change my life to this exact moment. And no, it wasn’t (isn’t) pretty.

Future self & travel: Reverb10.21-10.22

In an attempt to travel further down the path of self-discovery, I’ve decided to participate in Reverb 10, which is an annual event and online initiative to reflect on your year and manifest what’s next.


December 21: Future self

Imagine yourself five years from now. What advice would you give your current self for the year ahead? (Bonus: Write a note to yourself 10 years ago. What would you tell your younger self?)

Hey, you.

Take your time.

Breathe.

For the love of all that is good in this world, live for you.

I know you care. Sometimes, too much. (It really is a curse sometimes, isn’t it?) The truth is, it’s pretty obvious to most people that you care. I’m not entirely sure you could do anything to make people think you don’t care. So please, if even just for one stinkin’ day, live for you.

And don’t forget to breathe!

And… also, next time someone suggests shots at the bar? Say yes, just once. You could use something other than Coors Light running through your veins.

LOVE, me.

December 22: Travel

How did you travel in 2010? How and/or where would you like to travel next year?

Y’all? I didn’t GO ANYWHERE this year. A few (and a LOT too few) trips to see my nieces, a couple trips to some surrounding larger towns and one trip to “Seattle” (but not really Seattle – mostly just IKEA).

That’s it. No return trips to Pullman. No flying to San Francisco.

But that’s going to change. In 2011, I’m going to SF. (Lauren, watch out, I’m lookin’ at you!) In 2011, I’m going to Vegas. I’m going to see my nieces more, to visit my amazing siblings and to the Oregon coast.

I’m going to get the hell out of this house.

Photo: Lara