#Reverb11 Dec. – One Word

Published December 1, 2011 by rippnpebb

Encapsulate the year 2011 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2012 for you?

Read more: http://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/university-venus/reverb11-time-reflection#ixzz1fLpX8gCM
Inside Higher Ed

2011: Hungry

This year I went on food stamps and sometimes even scraped together change for food, but you would never know from looking at me. I sound intelligent (tested, confirmed high IQ, completed some grad school), drive a new car (a gift), look clean and well-groomed, even stylish (but buy classic looks that last more than one season – maybe 2 new pieces of clothing this year – including thrift stores). I’ve been looking for a job all year, and have even taken cash jobs for half of minimum wage.

I’m hungry for security – a decent paying job with decent hours, food, health care, help when I’m sick or injured, a day without a creditor calling, a restful night.

2012: Satisfied

A job, not worrying about finding enough money for food and shelter, friends and family that I can trust and rely on. Catching up on bills.

Day 16: Friendship – Cultivating Trust

Published December 16, 2010 by rippnpebb

December 16 – Friendship How has a friend changed you or your perspective on the world this year? Was this change gradual, or a sudden burst? (Author: Martha Mihalick)

This is interesting. The more I write responses to these prompts, and the more I post them, the more I find myself editing them for fear of being found out. But really, would anyone care enough to go trying to figure out who I am? Very unlikely. I was reading something recently about writing anonymously and blogging about this same topic. Oh well here goes. I’ll veil it somewhat.

I’ve written elsewhere about this, but I realize I should think about these prompts separately and not assume that anyone is even reading this or would even read all of them. So a new friend I made this year, more than halfway through the year in fact, has totally changed me and my perspective on the world, and quite suddenly. He began as a lover, and now I think of him as an amazing friend for his support and cultivation of trust.

It’s interesting, because at the moment, I’m seriously considering cutting off this friend as my lover – not really for anything he did, but just because I’m having a hard time dealing with jealousy and feeling hurt over what has transpired this week, but because I’ve been with him, I’ve realized that these things are my own to deal with. Because he has been so supportive, and I trust him very deeply, I’ve been able to really look at what is at the root of my feelings of jealousy and feeling hurt. It doesn’t make them any easier.

I think, though, because I can recognize these feelings, as painful as they are, I realize that I can change the way I react to them. It’s extremely important that I do this, because I think it will help me in all my relationships in the future, especially romantic ones. Several years ago, I was in an abusive relationship, and I realized I was often afraid to bring up issues, because I knew that there would be some kind of drama and that there was a threat that bringing up these things meant the relationship could hit the rocks. I was so desperate to hang onto the relationship because it made me feel good in some serious ways that I put up with abusive, manipulative behavior. I felt like I was walking on eggshells all the time, and I try very hard to this day to not blame myself for staying in the relationship.

Now I know that it is completely possible to have a partner and friend and lover that can be supportive, non-judgmental, non-dramatic, not manipulative. I wish I could think of the positive words, but these are things that I want to expel from my life, so I think it’s fine to list them. He is someone who is committed to being honest and that will look me in the eye and hold my hand while I’m divulging my deepest fears and deepest hurts. And here comes the next wave of divulging. I hope he’s ready for it because I’m not.

Day 15 – 5 Minutes

Published December 16, 2010 by rippnpebb

December 15 – 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. (Author: Patti Digh)

Making love to a woman. A light threesome.Two weddings. July 4th in New Hampshire. Falling in love in a few days. Swimming in a lake. Halloween parties. Sex with a hot lover. Finding someone irresistible. Riding on a motorcycle. Laughing every Sunday and a lot. Challenging my flaws. Award from the US govt. Detroit. USSF. Cape Cod and temporary friends. Whale watching. Tree planting. Sliver moon. Opening day. New Year’s Day – rainy games. Train rides. Boat rides. Tender kisses. Tender touches. Stolen glances. Cooking! Long phone calls with faraway friends.

Day 14: Appreciate – Intentional Family

Published December 16, 2010 by rippnpebb

December 14 – Appreciate What’s the one thing you have come to appreciate most in the past year? How do you express gratitude for it? (Author: Victoria Klein)

I think the one thing I have come to appreciate in the last year is something I talked about in a previous post. I have really come to appreciate the intentional family I’ve created mostly subconsciously until now. Just the other day, I sent an email to someone I want to intentionally bring into my family even though I felt totally weird about it especially since some of the people in family are leaving very soon, and some of the most important ones may be leaving in the next 6 months.

Even though I’ve had some super hard times this year when I felt there was nobody to help me, and nobody cared – hmm … actually I just need to make that statement. I don’t really have a response.

I appreciate that I can be totally myself around them, and that if I am really in a bind, I would be able to rely on them for help. I think the hardest thing for me is just asking for and accepting it. I guess the way I express gratitude for it sometimes is gifts which I know isn’t the most appropriate, but that also includes meals bought and home made goodies. I know the best way I can express gratitude for it is just to say so and to be just as clear that I am dependable and reliable in return.

Day 13 Action – Update that Resume!

Published December 16, 2010 by rippnpebb

December 13 – Action When it comes to aspirations, it’s not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen. What’s your next step? (Author: Scott Belsky)

I think it’s very interesting that I got stuck on this “action” prompt. And 750 Words is shouting at me, “Oops, missed this day,” for two days in a row. I think the beginning of it was too many manic ideas and not knowing which idea I want to act upon, and this has been a season of inaction and procrastination.

I quit my job and haven’t acted on much to make money, get back in school, or solve my finances. Instead I’ve been “exploring myself,” and don’t get me wrong. I find infinite value in this, but until I’m independently wealthy or have that million dollar idea, I need to take responsibility and get acting on my resume and take care of finances that are staring me very rudely in the face.

So I guess I need to get acting, stop writing, and work on my resume … as soon as I catch up on my prompts!

Day 11 – 11 Things to Eliminate. Zen in 2011.

Published December 11, 2010 by rippnpebb

December 11 – 11 Things What are 11 things your life doesn’t need in 2011? How will you go about eliminating them? How will getting rid of these 11 things change your life? (Author: Sam Davidson)

11 Things – Exclusive of feelings and emotions

1. Crap in my room, closet, common area
2. As many bills as possible
3. My last class in school – finish!
4. Flaky friends
5. Books that are just taking up room
6. Any clothes that I haven’t worn in one year
7. Extra craft supplies I will never use – sell or give away
8. Artificial sweeteners – especially Diet Coke
9. Obsolete electronics and plugs
10. Junk mail and solicitations
11. Weird cans of paint

I tried to take this literal as opposed to listing negative feelings and emotions especially since I’ve written about those things in other prompts. Obviously, one of the issues I constantly deal with is clutter (I was joking with a friend she has books about making bookshelves when her bookshelves are overflowing, and I have at least three books that deal with clutter) – I think I have a lot of different reasons for it, one of which might be slight OCD/hoarding behavior. I’ve been working on finding the motivation in myself to push through whatever barriers I have around getting rid of physical things that may weigh me down.

Artificial sweeteners – I just know that they are so bad being full of chemicals where I otherwise eat pretty well.

I guess looking back at the list, one thing that has do with people besides myself is flaky friends. I was chatting the other day with a very good friend about another long time friend, and I’ve been keeping a distance from her because especially over the last few years, I’ve noticed that some of her behavior is attention seeking that I feel is inappropriate. Because I have people in my life that are dealing with serious issues like addiction, I try to be aware of my enabling other people in their behaviors that they have admitted they are working on. While I probably won’t eliminate her because I think of her as family, I’m only reaching out to friends these days who I know will actually respond to requests to hang out, and if someone offers, now I wait for that person to follow through. I’ve now found out how many people don’t follow through or don’t make proper requests (last minute invites, texting after very long absence of communication). And it may not even be that that friend is flaky. It just may be that neither of us have very close friendship, so it may not be that important to get together.

Otherwise in 2011, I just want to get rid of a lot of dead weight and fix any nagging paperwork issues. I hope that will help me with whatever feng shui, psychological, metaphysical, universal issues to move forward in my life away from things that keep me from being in the moment. Zen in 2011.

Day 10 Wisdom – Not walking away from a new friend

Published December 11, 2010 by rippnpebb

December 10 – Wisdom Wisdom. What was the wisest decision you made this year, and how did it play out? (Author: Susannah Conway)

The wisest decision I made this year was to not walk away from a guy I had been dating because I was afraid I was falling for him, and I wanted to prevent breaking of hearts – mine because falling for him wasn’t supposed to happen, and his because I know that’s not what he wanted to happen. It was just supposed to be fun, and I didn’t really expect to make it past a few dates, and the next thing I knew, I was really liking him, and talking to him every day, and having a great time on dates.

What’s interesting, too, is that I made a bigger decision this year that I thought would be at the top of the list – quitting my job, but as much as I loved it, and it was right in line with my career goals, personal ideals, politics, etc., I was realizing more and more that I work to live, not live to work. I was turning into the workaholic I didn’t want to be and making too many personal sacrifices for my job even though it was in my chosen career. Sure I want something steady and rewarding that gives back, but not at the expense of being able to support myself and my lifestyle and interests and my goals for supporting my family. So that decision led to me having more time to explore what I want, who I am, and what I want do with other people in my life whether it was dating or getting more time to spend with friends and family.

So here I was dating this guy and ready to give up on it because I was afraid of getting too involved and getting hurt too much and maybe hurting him in the process. Instead, I decided that I would lose a relationship I was really enjoying and to some extent, he would miss out on dating me. And I’m not going to be humble here, and what I want to reverberate into the next year is not always cutting myself down, not being too modest, and to change back to positive, accepting compliments graciously, realize that people enjoy being with me as a friend and as a lover, and that I have the power to realize when I am being insecure and turn that around. Also something that I read recently that was promptly affirmed by my friend – so what if I fall in love with this guy or if I just get to love him as a friend. That’s great! Especially if I keep myself sane by not expecting it in return and being open to loving other people and maybe falling in love with someone else. In the end, I will still have a good friend who may stop being my lover or that part of our relationship will become less important or even disappear, but I realized that I was getting much more out the relationship through our friendship than through anything that happened in the bedroom.

I knew what he wanted was to be friends first and lovers second, and I found out that through sticking with it, that that’s exactly what I wanted, too. Since making that decision, he’s helped me work out and lessen so many insecurities I have about myself. I’ve met new people and gone on fun dates, and I see this as the beginning of a long friendship, and I cannot imagine where I’d be now without those experiences and discoveries about myself. The wise choice here was to challenge my fear of getting hurt and not bail because of it. I want to follow this path to the end and see where it goes, even if I might trip and fall or there might be obstacles in my way. So far I’ve been rewarded for every time I’ve picked myself up and dusted myself off or climbed over a thorny stump. With this experience, I know have nothing to gain but wisdom. Well, and a lifelong friend.