Alternate title: Yet another project Angela will give up on in ten or so days.
So, Reverb 2010 is a month-long writing project in which participants characterize the previous year and focus on what the next year will hold. Think year in review on steroids. The project started December 1st, so I’m pretty far behind, but I plan to catch up.
But, first, a summary of the last three months: 30 hours per week of senior project, 15 hours per week of work, 15 hours per week of class, and 20 hours per week of homework. Oh, and just enough knitting and time spent with Matt to keep me sane. In short, it’s been stressful but, somehow, I’ve managed to make it through without strangling anyone or going totally nuts. Barely.
And, now, to the whole Reverb 10 thing.
December 1 – One Word. 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?
Attempt. I attempted to do a lot of things this year. Attempted to be the best student I could be. Attempted to blog daily. Attempted to knit a sweater that fit me properly. Attempted to learn to relax. Attempted to run a half marathon. And, well, I wasn’t successful at any of them. I let stress prevent me from doing my best at school. I stopped blogging due to lack of time and the fact two classmates found my blog (hi, Shavon and Mike). I just have issues when it comes to knitting sweaters for myself (must take a fit to flatter type class once I have the $300+ to afford one). I still have no clue how to properly relax without bringing a bathtub full of hot, bubbly water with me everywhere. The running, well, my hips are entirely to blame for that fiasco.
But, next year, my year will be fulfillment. Not success, that’s doing better than people expect. Fulfillment, that’s being happy with how things are – even when things don’t go perfectly. I need to learn to accept things as they are and only try to change things that both need and can be changed. Stop pushing against a brick wall, so to speak.
December 2 – Writing. What do you do each day that doesn’t contribute to your writing — and can you eliminate it?
I let me brain stop me from writing, basically. I let the fact that my classmates know of my blog stop me from writing, despite the fact there’s really very little I keep to myself, anyway. No big secrets will be revealed if I blog about everything. People may get annoyed that I’m talking about them in “public” but, hey, it’s nothing I wouldn’t tell them, anyway. No names. I’m smarter than that. Sometimes.
Anyway, I also let me mind stop me from writing on paper. The notebook is too new, the notebook is too full, the paper isn’t smooth enough, the pen doesn’t feel quite right, etc.
December 3 – Moment. Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors).
Standing in front of a crowded room, presenting my senior design project. All of my professors, people I respect highly and whose favor I need. My classmates, who saw my project struggling throughout the semester, unable to do anything but offer emotional support. Our project sponsor, showing neither approval or disapproval somehow. Loud construction noise from the hallway, people snacking in their seats, plastic chairs scraping against the laminate floor, shuffling papers of classmates waiting to present and professors filing out rubrics while flipping through slides, quiet coughs of those slightly sick by the sudden cold and drizzly day. The smell of my co-presenter’s shampoo, tropical yet manly. My hands clutching onto the slide changer for dear life, my talisman for the morning.
December 4 – Wonder. How did you cultivate a sense of wonder in your life this year?
I’m not someone who tends to truly wonder. Sure, I play the what-if game every minute I’m awake, but, wonder like a little kid, almost never. But, this year, I was forced to have that wonderment, every time Izzy or Charis was at our house. I saw Charis dip her entire tiny hand into the hottest salsa I’ve ever eaten, curious as to what it tasted like. I saw Izzy wack herself in the face with a plastic bin, wondering if her resulting cries would be enough to garner the attention of the adults in the room. And, they made me wonder when they sat, somewhat peacefully, on our stairs, looking at their favorite books.
December 5 – Let Go. What (or whom) did you let go of this year? Why?
Oye. I’m just plain going to skip this one. The list is just plain too long.
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?
The last thing I made was a pair of socks for Danielle, the owner of my LYS. I used about two-thirds of a skein of Sanguine Gryphon Bugga, in the awesome colorway named Cuban Cockroach. I bought it a couple months ago, when I picked up a few skeins to make myself a fingering weight sweater. Something about the bright greens and the funny name pulled me in. I was about halfway through the first sock before I talked to Danielle about the socks being for her. Thankfully, she loves handknit socks but doesn’t particularly like making them. After I gave her the finished pair, she gave me another skein of yarn (this time in pale purple) to make her another pair.
Of course, there are other thigns I should be working on. A scarf for Leah. Hats for Sheel and Tygue. A hat for myself. But, yeah, what am I working on. Those light purple, cabled socks for Danielle, owner of a yarn store. Thankfully, I’ll have lots of time on my hands during finals, on my vacation, and during break when I can only work 20 hours per week.
December 7 – Community. Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011?
I discovered a great community of runners, both locally and online. I have (had?) an amazing group of women I ran with every Sunday morning. They were encouraging but didn’t let me off easy. Danielle made sure we showed up every week we were in town. Jen whined with me through the long runs, making me run faster without even trying. Leslie wouldn’t let us quit. Katie showed us the runners we would some day be. Kathy proved you can be a great runner, even if you don’t pick it up when you’re in high school. Online, I found another group of amazing female runners (who also knit) on Ravelry. Each week, when I posted my crappy times, they were encouraging. When I had to stop running after my injury, they explained how
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.
Stupid jokes during presentations? I don’t know. I think I’m mostly a freak.
December 9 – Party Prompt: Party. What social gathering rocked your socks off in 2010? Describe the people, music, food, drink, clothes, shenanigans.
I guess the best social times I’ve had the last year are when me and Matt sit at the kitchen table after dinner, just talking. When we go right from the kitchen table to watching TV, we don’t talk that much. But, those times we refuse to relocate, to sit and have a glass of wine and honestly talk about what’s on our minds, it’s great. I didn’t have that much time to do those sort of long talks this semester, like I have in the past. It was always quick dinner then back to working on homework. Now that my projects are over, I finally have time to do that again. It’s great.
December 10 – Wisdom Wisdom. What was the wisest decision you made this year, and how did it play out?
The wisest was probably when I decided to look for a new job, before my current one is relocated this summer. The program is moving and, well, I’ll be out of a job as soon as it does. I made the smart (but painful) decision to start looking for something new a few months ago. Looked within my company and outside of it, eventually finding a new internship (with potential for full-time once I graduate in May) within the company. Other half of my current program, actually. The half that isn’t moving to the middle of nowhere (not anytime soon, at least). It’s hard to leave a job I really enjoy and people who just as nutty as me, but it’s much better for me, career-wise. No need to stick around until the end, having to scramble to find something new. I start there full-time in January and I’m both scared and excited. It’s a very different, though related, team whose culture I’ll have to learn. We’ll see how my choice really plays out in the coming months.
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?
3. Crappy trash bags
4. Textbooks (okay, needed until May but not after!)
5. Spam email that I request (technically, bacon, but you get the point)
7. Clothes that I won’t ever wear and bought out desperation that I’d never find something that fit
8. Postcards that don’t get sent until two months after purchasing them
9. Uncomfortable shoes