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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.


hedonism at the office = who can eat the most baked goods.

you are stuck in your cubicle around the holidays, or you are standing on your feet in front of a cash register being forced to ask “would you like a gift card?”, or you are unemployed & mooching off mom & dad. ’tis the season to celebrate christmas/hanukkah/kwanzaa/or the term i like to steal from seth cohen in “the oc” – chrismukkah, BUT of course you are stuck working full-time while on a break from school or getting extra cash by babysitting your bratty second cousin. regardless, you don’t have time. you’re a twenty-something that gives all of her time to climbing the social & career ladder.

soooo when you get the e-vite for a ugly sweater christmas party, you panic. you’ve got to bring something, so you think: wine? no, i’ll bring that for myself. deli/cheese tray? i’m not made of money.

then you come up with the brilliant idea to bake. the thing with baking is, although i love playing martha stewart from time to time in the kitchen (except i don’t use my own hen’s eggs or freshly churned butter), who wants to spend time on that? i’d rather go to a happy hour or catch a $5 movie on the theater’s off-hours.

what’s the solution? a three step yummy christmas recipe. yeah, three steps. my office has had the twelve-days of overindulging wherein everyone randomly brings in goodies. i have sucked down fudge, roughly the same weight as a baby, consumed so many pieces of brickle-this, brickle-that, & had enough cheese & crackers for a million little ratatouilles. today i noticed something a little different but equally delicious on the table: pretzel turtles. the recipe i ate was virtually the same, except the pretzels were heart shaped, with the rolo and pecan in between. if you’re bitter about love (i’ll be the first to admit it) then you might want to opt for a generic square pretzel (or a heart with a dagger in it, perhaps?). happy eating!

when you start to live outside yourself, it’s all dangerous.

i am twenty-two, on the verge of twenty-three. i am an obsessive blog-reader but have come up short when trying to discover a twenty-something blog. specifically, a blog written by a twenty-something that doesn’t give me advice (hello, we quarter-lifers don’t have anything figured out) & doesn’t discuss the latest fancy$chmancy trends (i’m applying to grad schools right now, enough said).

so cheers (tequila shot, lime, & salt in hand) to busting out into the crowded blogging scene! expect lower-case letters, thoughts on film, music, books, & analysis of romance (or lack thereof) & snarky commentary on humanity.