#reverb10, December 28 - 31

This is a pathetic excuse for a before-the-jump post, but I am legitimately craving white Doc Martens. Instead of the floral ones. After the hype has passed. Nothing makes sense anymore.

Dr. Martens 1B99, $39.95 on amazon. Wait, I thought Doc Martens were supposed to be really expensive. Well anyway.

Last of the #reverb10 prompts, after the jump.

PROMPT FOR DECEMBER 28, 2010: 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.

This sounds kind of pathetic, but oh well.

In 2011, I’m not planning on beating myself up about getting a secure, well-paying job lined up for me after graduation, even though I’m fucking scared about not having one. I don’t intend for my crowning achievement to be a 4.0 because I had that before and smiled for a few minutes, then stopped caring and even forgot to tell my mom. I don’t want to realize my minimalist wardrobe this year because right now I like the task of getting there far more than actually being there. I don’t want to lose five pounds or consume less soda or stop smoking or drink less or get out of debt.

What I want to do the most this year is write every day, until something that I would call good starts coming out on a regular basis.

Like Jacoby, I want to write a page a day for all of 2011. I don’t mean “write golden shit,” because I think I need to process the life in front of me before I can produce anything remarkable, but I do mean “write anything, write about what you ate for breakfast, write in a diary, write in a journal, write about that bitch who almost ran you over this morning, write about that guy you’re infatuated with this week, write fake intellectual analyses of Glee and popular movies, write about your feelings, write lists, write about what you are thankful for, write pages and pages of pure crap you would be embarrassed to show anything sentient.”

I think this will make me feel creatively, emotionally, and mentally satiated, which I couldn’t say was true about me in 2010. But gratitude is satisfaction.

So, to simple things, 2011!
  1. clean hair
  2. songs available on YouTube (namely yours, Darren Criss)
  3. the Alchemy app
  4. hot apple cider
  5. a new calendar (it’s Tangled)
  6. tarragon chicken
  7. blog comments
  8. greasy lip balm
  9. 2010 retrospectives
  10. fuzzy socks

PROMPT FOR DECEMBER 29, 2010: Defining moment. Describe a defining moment or series of events that has affected your life this year.
T: Well what did you always want to be?
ME: What, like when I was five?
T: Well, yeah.
ME: (turning face away to hide in shame) A writer. Don't judge me.
T: No, I'm not all that surprised.
ME: ...H...ow?
T: You'd be surprised how many people who go into humanities wanted to write. I know I wanted to –
ME: Why aren't you doing it now?
T: I guess it's the practical thing again...
That was in March. I didn’t think much of the conversation at the time, because it wasn’t what I wanted to hear, not while I was trying to get myself to commit to jumping off the high dive also known as taking the equivalent of 16 semester units of technical classes over the summer.

It wasn’t a defining moment in that it shaped or molded the rest of my year, but it did describe what I went through.

In the spring, I was already contemplating switching my introductory computer science and single-variable calculus classes to pass/not pass and then not bothering to pass them; I guess it was only a matter of time until I pushed my will hard enough to snap.

Over the summer, I was sitting on the floor outside my computer science lecture hall with my head between my knees with the thought pounding through my head that I just wanted to stop and sit down and write, and why shouldn’t I be able to do it and trust life to offer me exactly what I needed, exactly when I needed it? Because people told me I shouldn’t? Because life was unfair and unkind? Because I was being too selfish? Because it was too risky? Because I wasn’t middle class enough to be having this kind of dilemma? Because what I believed about the world was going to be shattered once I stepped out into it?

And even then, I had said to myself, “But my beliefs about the world were shattered when life made my mother a single mom.” But I ignored me, because surely, surely my feelings did not count in the larger scheme of things.

But there is a scheme larger than the larger scheme, and in that larger than larger scheme, feelings count. Life counts, and hope counts. Having enough money counts, but having a lot doesn’t. And I think my enough is less than the enough of the people in the scheme within a scheme, and my enough doesn’t make me feel like I am watching myself go through the motions of life on mute.


PROMPT FOR DECEMBER 30, 2010: This month, gifts and gift-giving can seem inescapable. What's the most memorable gift, tangible or emotional, you received this year?

In May, David gave me a used copy of After the Ecstasy, the Laundry by Jack Kornfield. I appreciated it.

It was tangible, but for me, it was mostly emotional. Not a handing-over of David’s emotions, but a shot of edification and emotional freedom for me, bound in broken paperback transferred over a bowl of salad. I’m sure it was probably cheesy, but I couldn’t taste any dairy over the sound of my own voice shouting in wonder, “THIS! IS! MINE!”

Not that it was a victory cry to herald my acquisition of new reading material. It was like having a dictionary whose entries consist only of definitions, and finally being given the entry words, wrapped in a personal narrative.

The book is sitting on a shelf in my apartment. I feel the need to give it away in karmic reciprocity. It spoke to me. It sang to me. It was the first time I had read about Buddhism and the first time I had seen a religion presented as a way of approaching life rather than as a set of rules. It made me kind of offended that Buddhism was considered a religion, because I had come to understand that religion was a dirty word.

It was nothing like the Catholicism I had grown up swallowing, because the recipe suggested serving it with a grain of salt.

It was the nicest non-premeditated gift I received in 2010. (Though I have to admit, premeditated words of encouragement or support are probably my favorite gifts ever.)

(Wait, I guess that includes blog comments. Well, I rather like those.)


PROMPT FOR DECEMBER 31, 2010: 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 do not like this prompt, not least of all because it is forcing me to read through all my previous responses.

This is what I think my central story is:

Pain begets anger and/or sorrow.
Anger begets pain.
Sorrow begets exhaustion.
Exhaustion begets peace.

Here’s a diagram:

Actually, maybe that isn’t my story. That’s what I think I’ve learned so far. My story is the one I spent 2010 writing, the one I have spent most of my life partitioning into topic-based chapters, the one whose holes I filled in this past year. It’s the one I find the appropriate words for only when the planets align, the one I have ideas filed away for in a cabinet of labeled manila folders, the one I share with the world even when it doesn’t ask for it.

I wish I could say something like “My central story is about Harry, Harry Potter. I know every detail about his life and his world and all I have to do is write it,” but I’ve always sucked at fiction that doesn’t cling to the back of truth. I have always sucked at plot.

My story is easy, because I don’t need to make anything up. I just need to be alert enough to recount it and cunning enough to stitch time together so you can’t see the joins. My story is a narrative, and a pretty boring, self-absorbed one at that. If I were itching with someone else’s story, I would call myself a writer, but for now, I’m just some douchebag prick asshole who writes about herself online.

And this is a terrible way to end #reverb10.
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