Shut up. I know. It turns out I really hate blogging all the time. Maybe I should edit that sentence to read “I really hate blogging.” Full stop.
But every time I think I hate blogging, I remember that time five years ago when I graduated college and died a little inside and didn’t come back to life until I’d created a fine shitstorm and woke up to find myself smack in the middle of it. Which is to say that I rely on blogging as a thing that keeps me awake and alive and all those good things. I intend to examine this codependency more fully in 2011, when I can stop blogging all the damn time again.
The only reason I’m blogging now is because the reverb10 prompts have been filling up my inbox, and I wouldn’t let myself delete them until I’d written the corresponding posts. And it turns out that’s one hell of a motivator, because there are few things I hate in life more than a full inbox. Especially when the label I’ve chosen for emails related to this blog is RED. My inbox is either bleeding or is really into the Christmas spirit. I’m not especially thrilled about either.
Prompt: Action. When it comes to aspirations, its not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen. What’s your next step?
My next step is convincing the higher-ups at my job to let me work from Austin full-time. I was informed today that this means I have to put together a report proving that this step will not at all be harmful to the company and will ideally even be beneficial. By the end of January. I think graphs are supposed to be involved. I’m not sure. So I guess my next step to my next step is figuring out if graphs are supposed to be involved. And also seeking advice from a coworker who currently works from home full-time.
Prompt: Appreciate. What’s the one thing you have come to appreciate most in the past year? How do you express gratitude for it?
I appreciate my job. I really do. It felt like a gift from heaven when it appeared out of no where last May. I was given the opportunity to advance my career in the middle of a recession. Not just any recession, either. The Great one. And not only has it advanced my career, it’s also made me rather happy. Having a job you like, I’ve found, makes all the difference in life.
I express my gratitude for my job by showing up relatively on time every day and doing my very best to catch all the mistakes and hardly ever blogging about work, except to say that I love it. And also by not complaining too much about our lack of holidays (ONE DAY for Christmas? Really?). And by going to the company holiday party and taking full advantage of the free Grey Goose, which, okay, kind of made up for the lack of holidays. (But seriously. One day?)
Prompt: 5 minutes. Imagine you will completely lose your memory of 2010 in five minutes. Set an alarm for five minutes and capture the things you most want to remember about 2010.
Okay, I don’t understand this question. Like, take pictures? Is that what they mean by “capture?” Or write? I want to remember how happy I was this year. This was probably my happiest grown-up year ever. Maybe my happiest year ever without any other qualifiers. I’m not sure how I can capture this, though. And can’t I just swing by my blog that I never write on to fill in some of the gaps? Like, hasn’t this whole reverb10 thing already pretty much done the job for me?
Okay, fine. I want to remember meeting Boyfriend, which I’ve already “captured.” I want to remember turning 27, and how many good friends and coworkers came to my party, and how everyone kept buying me Grey Goose, and how I was blackout drunk by 11 p.m., and how I puked in my neighbor’s front yard in front of Boyfriend and then totally rallied by drinking some beer and watching Aqua Teen Hunger Force with Boyfriend, Best Friend, and Brother until the wee hours of the morning. I want to remember how happy and sad I felt to quit my old job, and how my lovely coworkers threw me an awesome farewell party. I want to remember going to Arkansas with Boyfriend, and how we spent a solid, precious five days together, and how we stayed in the most haunted hotel in America but didn’t see any ghosts, and how we watched lightning flash way up in the Ozarks from our balcony.
Prompt: Friendship. How has a friend changed you or your perspective on the world this year? Was this change gradual, or a sudden burst?
I have this really amazing friend named Carla. She’s showed me, over the last five years, what it means to be a friend. She supports me and listens to me and encourages me and validates me and accepts me, and she does it all effortlessly, just because she has so much love and goodness in her heart. It’s looking like she might be moving away from me in January, which makes me especially grateful for her friendship this past year. I strive to be like her in all of my relationships, and I’m so thankful for her example.
Prompt: Lesson learned. What was the best thing you learned about yourself this past year? And how will you apply that lesson going forward?
I’m going to interpret “best” to mean “most important.” The most important I learned about myself this past year was my desperate need for approval from men (which I wrote about in length here) and how destructive that need has been in my life thus far. My main focus on self-improvement in 2010 is giving myself that validation and acceptance that I’d been seeking elsewhere.
Prompt: Try. What do you want to try next year? Is there something you wanted to try in 2010? What happened when you did / didn’t go for it?
Boyfriend and I want to try to learn how to tango. I’ve always wanted to. And maybe also samba. In 2010, I tried being in love with my life. And it so paid off.
Prompt: Healing. What healed you this year? Was it sudden, or a drip-by-drip evolution? How would you like to be healed in 2011?
My relationship with Boyfriend is, in many ways, the first healthy romantic relationship of my adult life, and it’s been healing for me in the most basic ways. It’s incredibly restorative, having a healthy relationship that doesn’t involve lies or secrets or hurt or guilt or plans or expectations. It’s easy and simple. I’m not sure where it’s going, but I’m not worried or anxious about it. I like spending time with him, so I’ll continue to spend time with him as long as I continue to like it. It’s healing to be connected with my wants and needs in that way–being able to recognize them and meet them immediately, or expressing them and then getting them met immediately. No longing or yearning. No being deserted or abandoned or rejected. He’s there when I want him to be, for as long as I want him to be. And he’s so good to me.
Prompt: Beyond avoidance. What should you have done this year but didn’t because you were too scared, worried, unsure, busy or otherwise deterred from doing? (Bonus: Will you do it?)
Prompt: 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?)
Stop worrying so much and just enjoy life. Relax–you will probably never be this carefree again. Enjoy your 20-something body; explore its limitations further, push it farther. Show yourself to people more; don’t be afraid to introduce yourself to a stranger–that stranger could become your next closest confidante. Continue to save money but also don’t feel guilty about spending it on things that make you happy. Take more trips. Take more sick days. Take more risks.