December 3 – Moment.
Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors).
(Author: Ali Edwards)
This is a tough one.
No, never mind it’s not.
The moment I felt most alive lasted more than a moment, it was actually about an hour. It was late on a Friday night in June. I had just finished another grueling waitressing shift and when I got out to my car I called my mom. I was exhausted. Near tears as was usual at that job. I told her I was on my way home and then she told me I had a letter from school waiting for me on the kitchen table. I told her not to open it and that I’d be home soon. I then called my best friend who had sent me a text to let me know she had something important to tell me. When she picked up she asked if I was home yet. Then she told me she’d received one of places in the Honors Academy at our school, a scholarship that we had both applied for. I told her I was excited and that I needed to drive home, but I’d call her back. As I made the 20 minute trip through the hot June night all I could think about was how much this would mean. I could really justify the fact that I wanted to quit my job if I knew school would be taken care of. It would be a sign that I was headed in the right direction. When someone else can see the potential in you and support it, it means so much. As tears started streaming down my face I pulled into the driveway, parked my car, and ran in the house leaving my shoes and bag behind. I grabbed the letter off the table and did something that I never do, actually read it! I got it! They wanted me! I ran downstairs and told my mom the news. Then I ran up the stairs to tell my dad and sister. They picked me! No one ever picks me! But they did and my hard work had paid off. I don’t think I’d ever felt so acknowledged and alive. I live to feel like that again, and I think that I’ve been able to use that moment as a catalyst for the decisions I’ve made this year. I’ve put myself out there, made decisions I was once afraid to make, and that moment was the start of it all.
*So What – Pink
You can read about the moment here.
I’m going to do all of these! Even if it takes me until the end of 2011.
December 2 - Writing.
What do you do each day that doesn’t contribute to your writing — and can you eliminate it?
(Author: Leo Babauta)
Narrowing it down to one thing is pretty difficult. I think the one thing I do most is over think the whole process. I write these posts in my head, bookmark websites I think will make for great inspiration, write notes on my iPod, but some how I can’t get it all together into consistent writing. I’ve talked about the privacy concerns before and I think that also factors in. Another thing is the success of my writing, I think everyone hopes for more feedback and to be noticed. If that doesn’t happen it can often feel like there is no point. Which is so silly because I never started writing to be read. I started writing for myself. So over thinking and second guessing are the problems…
The solution? Remember that this is for me, as selfish as that sounds. Yes, people can read it. But I shouldn’t try to cater to people who comment or those who don’t take the time to. I should write what I want. So what if it’s awful and no one cares about it? I do! So I just have to make the commitment to keep writing and keep improving.
*Unwritten – Natasha Bedingfield
My sister has this thing about death. She’s always postulating the most morbid thoughts. “What if one of our dogs dies?” “I don’t want to go to Nana and Pop Pop’s house after they die.” I don’t get it. It’s not that I don’t think about death, trust me I do. It’s just I don’t think it’s something you should talk about out loud. Strange? Maybe. Superstitious? Absolutely.
For Christmas we always celebrate at my maternal grandparents house. One day this tradition will end. I play with this fact in my head all the time, but I never talk about it. I figure the day will come, but it hasn’t yet. On Sunday morning before our post-Christmas Christmas I was sitting in my favorite chair at my grandparents house. It’s an old chaise, worn and tattered. Beside the chair is a long chest covered in framed pictures of all the grandkids and family memories. On the chest I noticed this weird box. Red and green velvet, kind of Christmas-y really. I opened it. Inside were all sorts of hand written letters. The one on top, an obituary my grandma had written for herself. I told my sister about it. We kind of laughed, it’s so Nana to be prepared. But it’s sad. When my sister left to pick a few things up from the store, I reopened the box.
I read the obituary. Four small hand written pages, the brief life story of my beloved Nana. It was very up to date including the town where my younger cousins only moved a few years ago. Thorough. She wouldn’t have it any other way. Simple. Sad. One thing was missing. Will Pop Pop still be alive? To be honest, I hope not. He couldn’t live without her. They’ve been friends since childhood.
So I sat in my favorite chair in a house that one day will not be the Christmas house anymore. Crying. Because I knew the pages would be published in the town newspaper one day. A day that I know will come sooner than I’m ready for. Sooner than any of us are ready for, and I will have already read them. I don’t know how I feel. I can’t take it back now. I don’t know that I want to. It just is. At least someone knows it’s there. Waiting…
*In My Veins – Andrew Belle Featuring Erin McCarley
And now a brief break for the holiday…Don’t worry I’ll keep the lights on while I’m gone
*Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays! – ‘Nsync
I’m currently working on 3 college application essays. You never realize how difficult it is to sum yourself up within the context of a single question and a word count until you are faced with the challenge.
One of the essays I’m writing is about something I value and what experiences have led me to value it. I’ve decided to write about diversity. Not only do I come from a biracial family, but I’m lucky enough to have more friends from foreign countries than American friends. I love culture and the learning experiences I’ve been afforded because I’m surrounded by people who are different from myself. I also really want to incorporate a story about September 11th, that year my teacher was Muslim. So, I had a completely different experience from most kids during that generation shaping time.
Another essay is about my future. How I would use what I learn at this school to go forward sort of thing. The only problem is I don’t exactly want to go to this school. They don’t even have the major I want, although they have a similar alternative. It’s just that it’s so conveniently located (I could live at home) and I have a better chance at scholarship money. So I have to apply. I have to find a way to turn “I’m not sure” into three pages of that sound like a plan for my future.
I got to skip this process when most of my friends were going through it in high school. I was the person they sent essays to for editing. Now it’s my turn, and I’m worried that I won’t be able to put myself on paper in just the right way. I also have to send my essays in for editing by my honors advisor. There is nothing I hate more than people messing with what I’ve written. I don’t like when someone tries to change my voice. Hopefully it will all work out. I think I’ll post the final drafts here after the whole process is over.
*It Don’t Make Any Difference To Me – Kevin Michael f. Wyclef Jean
Let’s start from the beginning. Reverb 10, Day 1, Decemeber 1, 2010 aka TODAY!
Encapsulate the year 2010 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 2011 for you?
(Author: Gwen Bell)
My automatic thought for this year was Chance, but I’m not quite sure if that’s the perfect word. I think I deserve a little more credit for where this year has led me. I think it’s something more like Acceptance.
I’ve had more rough years than I can count, but I think that 2010 was a turning point. I stepped off a ledge, and I didn’t drown in the swirling ocean. In January, I started my second semester of college and worked my ass off for a 4.0 GPA. I took a class that changed my life. I’ve met people who inspire me. I applied for a scholarship that I never thought I would get, but I did. It feels great to be accepted. I got a job and I quit it out of principle. I’ve learned to love my friends, in spite of their flaws. I’m still learning to let go of some of them. I’ve faced financial stress. I’ve challenged the norm in a room full of future doctors and accountants by choosing art. I’ve struggled. 2010 was no where near perfect. Because I’ve had the chance to stare myself in the face and really accept who I am, everything has been much easier. By accepting myself and my circumstances, it has been easier to face the everyday challenges. If you aren’t even on your own side, how can you expect anyone else to be? Acceptance was my first step.
For 2011 I would like my word to be Satisfied.
I’ve got a lot of goals to achieve, and I would like to know that I’ve made the right choices. I would like to see myself continue on a positive path. No matter where life leads me over the 365 days of 2011, I just want them to be fulfilled days.
*Different – Acceptance (See what I did there?)
Aside from the daily stress of REAL LIFE, one of the biggest reasons I stepped away from blogging was privacy. Not just my own privacy, but for my friends and family. When I started writing on the internet I had no concept of what should be off limits. I’ve shared personal stories, pictures and sometimes names. I’m even Facebook friends with some of my fellow bloggers. I haven’t had any rules. I never really asked for permission. I needed to take a step back, reevaluate. I have done that and I’m still working through what is okay to share here. It’s a learning process this blogging thing. So, to jump back into it all I’ll be mixing it up. Using Plinky and the wonderful Reverb 10 prompts for inspiration. Hopefully from there, the ideas will flow and I’ll be back in the groove.
*Say – John Mayer
I’m back. After a brutal, GPA murdering semester I’ve got 6 weeks off to dedicate to myself. It’s my “almost new year’s resolution” to get back to writing. I’ve hesitated to blog over the past few months for several reasons, but I think I’m ready to start again. There is a lot of change coming my way in the next few months, and I want to document it all along the way. Here goes…