i just discovered gwen bell’s project called #reverb10. it challenges you to look at your past year & write about it, facilitated by prompts. i love the idea of prompts, because you don’t always have an idea of what to write about – especially in the form of self-help. since i am a little behind (the challenged started december 1st), i am going to write about a few of them at a time. i challenge you to do the same.
promt #1: one word
in this prompt, we must pick a word describing our past year & one we hope to say the next year.
depressing. i chose this word because 2010 was indeed, depressing. in fact, i dedicate lily allen’s “fuck you very much” song to this year. a week before january, i came home from studying abroad in london. a sudden dark cloud appeared over me & stayed for at least five months once i was back in the states. a number of factors resulted in my lack of acclimation upon my return. i transitioned from having five roommates & living on my own to living at home with my mother & father. additionally, there was the sudden change of being alone. i had very few moments of alone-time whilst in london & loved it. this was one of the many revelations i faced, because i thought i needed time alone frequently. so, i returned to a country i disliked even more (sorry america), living with my parents, & surrounded by no friends. i’ve always had difficulty making friends, & the ones that were here once i returned didn’t quite fit with me anymore. i had changed, grown, evolved, become someone. needless to say, i would go to school & feel as if i was virtually unnoticed, talked to no one/no one talked to me, & was stuck for several, several months in a dark place i wish to never experience again. i still have pangs of that feeling, of london homesickness, of not belonging here. i am working on subsiding those feelings though.
this year also was the succession and failure of falling in love with the wrong person. a guy who seemed like the perfect fit, maybe even was/is, but who had the classic sex & the city/mr. big case of can’t-commit-because-i’ve-been-heartbroken-before. i usually don’t regret much, but i regret this. not simply for the way i felt this year (& still feel about it), but also because i made a lot of mistakes when it comes to protecting my heart. i’m a dive-right-in kind of girl, & i know that. i’m impulsive & say things before i think about it. so yes, i went into it 100%, practically putting a bow on my heart & launching it in his general viscinity. of course, this was all wrong, because whomever confinscates it can do whatever he wishes.
the one thing i will say about this whole depressing god-forsaken year is that i’ve learned more about myself. i know i can’t survive in suburbia, want to become successful & travel, & need to guard my feelings/heart/self more.
happy. i might be living in a different city, around different people, going to a different school. this is all realistic. i’m applying to grad schools; so maybe i will say adios to my current location. maybe i’ll be more inspired. maybe i will fall in love. maybe i will make new friends & find a new hip coffee shop to read in. maybe i’ll be happy(ier)?
promt #2 writing
there’s not much to say about this prompt, because the obvious thing that doesn’t help my writing is my love for bravo reality shows. what can i say, i’m addicted. i’m also an english major, so i must write all of the time. i am changing my writing though by starting a blog & being hired as the arts & entertainment editor for my campus newspaper.
prompt #3 moment
picking a moment when i felt most alive this year. this has to be when i was awarded a $1000 grant to travel to maryland (where my sister lives) & continue research on my senior thesis. this was one of the proudest moments of my life, because receiving $1000 to cover travel, food, photocopies, etc. meant that someone truly believed in my research project. i just turned in the paper & am hoping to get it published in an academic journal.
prompt #4 wonder
i really began to cultivate a sense of wonder when i was in london. it has escaladed this year, because i’ve realized there are so many places i haven’t been & so many things i’ve yet to do. there’s a wonderful jonathan safran foer quote that says, “sometimes i can hear my bones straining under the weight of the lives i’m not living.” i feel that way all of the time, because i find the world so immense and so limitless, that i think: what am i doing about it?
prompt #5 let go
wow, what did i not let go this year? this really is branching out from promt #1, neither of which i have effectively let go of. but mind you, i’m a twenty-something, so it’s not easy. first, the idea of having it all is something i’ve (sort of) let go of. as mentioned in promt #1, i had it all in london. freedom, adventure, friendship, et cetera. i didn’t have love (in fact, my boyfriend at the time broke up with me while i was overseas…i got over it quickly, because i was overseas after all!), but there wasn’t an ever-present gaping void because of it. an ani difranco song sing:
& it’s true. i want it all. i want a successful career, someone to love who loves me (not so sure about marriage & kids just yet), a kick-ass city to live in, & enough money to feel comfortable. i want to do good things for people & be a good person, too. i guess that’s part of being a woman in the twenty-first century, you want it all & think you can. well a good portion of me believes that to be true, but i guess what i’ve let go of is the idea that i won’t ever be disappointed if i don’t get it all.
oh, & there’s the regretful romance. i’m still working on letting that one go.