reverb 10

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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 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 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.

Day 9 Party: Two Parties, One Blog

Published December 11, 2010 by rippnpebb

December 9 – Party Prompt: Party. What social gathering rocked your socks off in 2010? Describe the people, music, food, drink, clothes, shenanigans. (Author: Shauna Reid)

Actually, it wasn’t one party I went to this year, but two, but they happened on the same night. That counts right? I attended and was part of my best friend’s wedding, and then went straight after to a Halloween party.

Gosh, I hope she never finds this, but while my best friend’s wedding was beautiful, and it was fun, I think the couple missed out on making it memorable for themselves and everyone else by skipping and not planning some of the traditional elements of a reception. I think it was suited to them, but in an effort to make it “casual” and not stuffy, they didn’t plan a first dance or dances with the in-laws or cutting of the cake, and they actually never made it to the dance floor. I think because they didn’t plan those things and didn’t have a program, a lot of the guests never really got started partying because they were waiting for “things to happen.” The couple hitting the dance floor is cue for others to do so, and that would’ve forced the guests to come find the couple and dance with them instead of the couple barely being seen in the room as they were on the outskirts or in other rooms talking to guests. Also, I had to find them and tell them they needed to cut the cake because guests were starting to leave and nobody was touching the beautiful and delicious cupcakes. So the groom goes up to the mic and says, “I guess we’re supposed to cut the cake” as if I was wrong. I had assured him that yes, everyone was done eating, had had seconds and maybe even thirds and were sitting around chatting for a good hour at least. Anyways, I’m just venting now – it wasn’t my wedding. I’m so glad I helped and the day pretty much went off without a hitch, and I had had enough to drink by the end of the evening that I danced my booty off. I got to see some old friends and maybe made some new ones.

Then I dragged some folks from the wedding to my other closest set of friends legendary Halloween party. I joined probably the fourth wave of folks to arrive, and the party for me really commenced thusly. I usually think about my Halloween costume for months and even save up costume ideas to do in following years. Because I was so busy helping with the wedding and so low on cash, I knew I couldn’t pull off either of my costume ideas. This year I spent the least on my costume I ever had and put it together from stuff I had around my house. I bought one item at a store that day that was less than two dollars, and it ended up being one of my most successful costumes.

Being as I was not the most sober, I couldn’t tell you much what happened at the party except there was a very tipsy Peter Pan, and I could run my filthy mouth off as much as I wanted. Besides that there were other girls there as filthy as me, and there was a lot of butt revealed – the dropping of pants, unnecessarily. It wasn’t even so much what happened, but the company. Oh there was a perfect Russian hooker and an Aztec goddess. But this is about how parties usually happen at this house, and maybe part of what makes the party legendary is that I don’t remember much of specifically what happened, but I do remember I had a really good time. It’s a good party night when you go to your best friend’s wedding and your other best friend’s annual best party of the year.

Day 8 – Being Different – Major Illness and Loss of a Parent

Published December 8, 2010 by rippnpebb

December 8 – Beautifully Different. Think about what makes you different and what you do that lights people up. Reflect on all the things that make you different – you’ll find they’re what make you beautiful. (Author: Karen Walrond)

There are a couple of things that I’ve experienced in my life that I think about at least some moment of every day since they’ve happened that make me different from most people my age. First is that my dad passed away very suddenly when I was 25, and he was only 51. My parents had just celebrated their 25th Anniversary barely a month prior. Second, about a year after my dad passed away, I had open surgery as part of a three month stay in the hospital. During that stay, all but about a week of that stay I was not allowed to eat or drink anything, not even ice chips. If my mouth felt dry, I was given a gigantic cotton swab with lemon flavor.

At the time my dad passed away, and even now, I rarely meet people my age who have lost a loved and close parent suddenly. There are few more people I’ve met now who have lost a parent to illness. From when my dad was taken away in the ambulance (and I wasn’t there – I had to travel a few hours) to the time of death was probably less than 12  hours. I also wasn’t at the hospital at the time of his passing, and I don’t think about it much, but maybe it was better that way. He was already in a coma by the time I arrived at the hospital.

I once read something written by another young woman about the same age as myself that related it to being part of a club to which you don’t want to be a member – explaining to new friends and co-workers that one of your parents is gone. Every once in a while, one of those people ask about seeing your parents for the holidays, and you have to decide whether to correct that person knowing you will be seeing their brief moment of discomfort about deciding whether to offer condolences. It’s one of those things that you get used to after time, but it never gets easier. Not to mention all the times that you will miss them forever at holidays and celebrations but I don’t feel like talking about that right now. After several years, I decided that I would work on my dad’s birthday and his anniversary, but in the last few years, I’ve decided to always take those days off not so much to honor him anymore like I felt I was doing the first few years, but to honor myself and my feelings and memories I will always have of him. Besides that, it was too distracting to work on those days and try to put on a brave face. Why make it harder than it already is?

Later the year that my father passed away, I found myself in and out of the hospital for a serious condition that wasn’t being resolved. Most of my friends and my family and myself included think that I probably got that sick from my body dealing with the shock of my dad’s passing. I had one internal surgery that never healed and turned into a major infection. I had to heal from the infection, and after lots of consultation decided to have open surgery to repair the damage to my organs. That meant I couldn’t leave the hospital. The issue was with my digestive system, and so I was fed through an IV. I spent Christmas and New Year’s in the hospital. Finally after about two and a half months, I was allowed to have the open surgery, and I spent the next two weeks recovering in the hospital – trying to stand up straight and walking around, and finally in the last week being allowed to have bouillon broth and Jell-o. My nurses thought I was crazy because I still loved watching cooking shows on PBS.

In the end, I didn’t work for six months and had to go through withdrawal from having been on narcotics for months. Trainspotting isn’t too far off. It took me a few more months after release to get back to eating normal food. Let me tell you, it was a happy day that I could eat a slice of pepperoni pizza. It’s not my favorite food, but it is probably one of my favorite comfort foods and what I missed the most in that time. As a person who cares about the environment and organic and local whole foods, I don’t let anybody get righteous with me or make me feel guilty for eating whatever the fuck I want to eat even if it’s a McDonald’s burger or gigantic slice of chocolate cheesecake. I don’t do this in casual conversation, but if I feel that militant vegan righteousness or compensatory spinning class speech coming my way, asking somebody if s/he has ever gone three months without eating or drinking anything will shut someone right up.

And so what makes me different is that I really do understand what it’s like to almost die, to know how fleeting life can be, how fragile one’s health is, how a loved one can be lost in an instant. On the other hand, I know how life should be lived every moment, how to cherish the time that we have, how resilient a mind and body can be, and that we should not only tell people we love them, but also show it as much as we can.

Day 6: Make

Published December 6, 2010 by rippnpebb

December 6 – Make. What was the last thing you made? What materials did you use? Is there something you want to make, but you need to clear some time for it? (Author: Gretchen Rubin)

I’m going to skip anything that I have cooked, because then the last thing I would have made is my favorite chicken dish which I’m still perfecting. But really cooking deserves a special mention because since I have not been regularly working, I have been cooking just about every meal when while I was working, I often skipped meals or ate out. I used to tell myself that I was lazy or that it was just because I didn’t like cooking for one, but really I realized that I just was too tired or too hungry to bother cooking. Now that I have a lot of time, I don’t mind and even can enjoy cooking myself and sometimes my roommates a meal. I made my mom’s birthday cake a little over a week ago from a doctored cake mix, and I made the frosting from scratch. I think it came out pretty good actually and even nice to look at.

The last thing I made was actually just a very small craft project. I took a very inexpensive clock I bought at Ikea and dressed it up a little by putting pink sequins around the face. Now it sits in my bathroom, and I love seeing the bling out of the corner of my eye.

As far as a bigger project, that would probably be the small bench/stool that I scored from the sidewalk. I knew it would be perfect for a bench near my entryway to sit and put on shoes. It was a sturdy wood bench with decorative legs that had been painted a silvery color, but someone had “re-upholstered” the seat with flannel that looked appropriate for pajamas! It was fabric with tiny rosebuds on a cream background. Ick! I knew I had red silk at home to re-upholster it, so I stopped my car and put it in my back seat. All it took was a drill to unscrew the seat, scissors, some extra batting, and a staple gun to upholster it with the silk fabric. I don’t think it took more than an hour, and now I use the bench a couple of times a day to put on and take of my shoes. It would also be great to use for extra seating if needed in my common area.

The next thing I want to make is start knitting a scarf for my mom. I have the time to do it, but I just need to get it started. That and whatever Christmas gifts I have time to make for the rest of my friends and family. I have very little money for gifts this year, so I need to get cracking on projects. I typically host a weeknight craft party this time of the year, but this year I’m too broke, and don’t know if I can get the house together to host it. It’s still a possibility, but I’m losing time.

I’m hoping that several things I’m waiting on will come to fruition in the nearer future so I feel like I can move on with the projects – mostly some small influx of cash. I’m definitely afflicted by the half done or never started craft projects, but I also have finished several recently, and I shouldn’t beat myself up for not working on them. If I’m not motivated to work on them, then I must not be interested in it for the moment. I definitely get as much out of making things as in the process as completing them. My hope for my “time off” was to get some projects really going and maybe have some income, but that is something I definitely should schedule time for working on those those things.