Reverb10: December 1: One Word
Following a link from Gretchen Rubin at the Happiness Project, I found the Reverb10 site, which encourages us to spend each day of December looking back at 2010 and thinking about what we want in our lives in 2011, through daily prompts. Since I'm nine days late, I'm not going to write about all of them, but I think I'll start now with the one that sings to me.
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?
Man. 2010 was a doozy. My heart held sway this year (as if that's different from any other year!) but it held me so tightly, that it forced me to look deeply into my own darkness and the darkness of others. It forced me to sit with this deep, howling need, and to look, over and over and over again, into this pit of despair that makes me want to fill this emptiness with someone else's love. I couldn't get out, it was like I was mesmerized, in the old meaning of the term: hypnotized, spellbound. All I could do was watch myself behave badly, claw and grasp my way in a sort-of-relationship that did not suit me, surround myself with imbalance, ambivalence, and shady half-truths that I wanted, so badly, to believe. At the end of the year, eventually, we got out of it, and I'm still in grief. But the growth has been amazing. Amazingly profound. Amazingly painful. Amazingly deep. Amazingly life-altering. I've discovered some deep core of myself that I wasn't aware existed. Some strength that I didn't think I had.
I know what I need to have in my life to make me happy. Creativity. Connection. Laughter. Exploration. Nature. Self-Reflection. Physicality. Spontaneity. Honesty. Love. Music. Books. Any of these things can be had, basically immediately, but to have them all, and in balance? That's the challenge. In 2010, I had many of these things, but but not in balance. I stopped meditating, did very little yoga or exercise, ate badly, drank too much consistently, was tense and stressed out, and in my head much of the time. Honesty as hard to get at. It was there some of the time, but there were far too many secrets and nasty surprises for my blood. For 2011, I would like to bring my life back into the balance that I know is good for me, and to not forget what it takes for me to be happy. I want to remember, in this next year, that I need to look out for myself before I can look out for anyone else, and before I do for someone else, I need to do for myself. At the same time, I want to dance with life - a waltz this time, more than a tango. No need for so much intensity and angst that it steals all the light. Life is meant to be lived, and as we grow older, we know more and more what we each need to live well. I know what I need to live the life I want to live. I'm tired of sadness and profundity. I want laughter, happiness, love, and light, and all of these in balance.