Archive | December, 2012

Trying to get all self-reflectivey on you

30 Dec

I thought I’d use this end-of-the-year opportunity to reflect on this past year. To learn from it, to grow from it. Reading Laura’s blog gave me the idea of answering some questions. I took the questions from http://onespiritproject.com/Articles/topten_05.html. I tried to keep this beneficial and therefore it ended up more serious than I perhaps would’ve liked it to be.

This takes me back to my old Myspace days! Here we go!

1. What did I learn? (skills, knowledge, insights, etc.)

I can’t say I really learned anything new. But rather, put what I knew into practice and then gained some insight on that process. Things like sticking with something – even if you hate it with every fiber of your soul – can actually provide you with tremendous insight. I also put into practice the concept of taking care of myself. It’s easy to think you are, or say you will, but harder to actually take steps to do so and stick with them. This seems to have been a year of perseverance.

2. What did I accomplish? A list of my wins and achievements.

Well, my mind is wrapped up in writing. So, I rewrote my first novel (essentially from scratch). I finished my novella (first draft) that I have been working on here and there for the past few years. This fall I finished a short story I started last Christmas. I am also devilishly near finishing my third novel (first draft), after many years of false starts and putting it in the drawer.

A few non-writing achievements: graduated with my masters degree in May (3.96 GPA what the hell is that about?). I traveled to new places (always a goal). I stuck with my teaching job even though my flight response was strong. I think that’s an achievement. I also hit the gym a lot. Even though it doesn’t show.

I also learned throughout the year. I always like learning new things.

3. What would I have done differently? Why?

Hmm. Tough question. I really can’t think of anything I would have done differently. I am pretty satisfied with the decisions I made this past year.

4. What did I complete or release? What still feels incomplete to me?

One of my goals is to be more emotionally mature. So that still feels incomplete. I also am still trying to find myself (aren’t we all?). That still feels incomplete. I’m trying to not let the responses of others direct or guide my life so much. Basically, my whole life feels incomplete – but this is not something special to 2012.

I completed novels (see above). I released lots of things. Old things. Feathers in the air, flowers everywhere. Shit like that. 😉

5. What were the most significant events of the year past? List the top three.

1. Finishing my first year of teaching
2. Switching schools
3. Taking steps to take care of myself. 🙂

6. What did I do right? What do I feel especially good about?

Ugh. This is getting redundant. How about I tell you a fill-in-the-blank story:

Once there was a ___________, and he/she/it found itself outside an old couple’s window. The old couple were always ____________ but on this day they were _____________. So the ______________ decided it would throw _______________ at their window to _____________ the shit out of them. The purpose was simply to _________________ because their life had grown _________________________. The end.

Good job. Wasn’t that fun? Moving on…

7. What was my greatest contribution?

Getting out of bed. Reading. Thinking. Asking students questions. Putting on great plays that make students feel good about themselves.

8. What were the fun things I did? What were the not-so-fun?

Fun:
Putting on plays
Writing
Dancing
Singing
Traveling
Watching interesting films
Working out
Laughing
Staying up late
Hiking at midnight
Reading

Not-so-fun:
Putting on plays
Writing
Traveling
Working out
Staying up late
Reading

9. What were my biggest challenges/roadblocks/difficulties?

Feeling stuck, feeling stressed 24/7. I can’t seem to get away from this job. Even on break I stress about what the hell I’m going to teach them when we get back. I feel like I am not living my own life, but rather trying to please others. To sum it up: others are my constant roadblocks.

10. How am I different this year than last?

I’d like to say I have more wisdom. That I’m more mature. That I’m more responsible – and I am – and it sucks. I’d like to say that I have a better grasp on life, but that’d be a lie. I am different in that I am not the same but I can’t really measure the growth. It’s like being around someone everyday as they die. You don’t notice the changes because you’re too close. They’re subtle changes as death takes over. But someone who comes every three months is likely to notice drastic changes to that person. That’s me. Maybe I’m different, but I can’t even remember myself last year, and I’m too close.

11. For what am I particularly grateful?

My family. My friends. That there’s still nature. That Obama and Tester won. That I get to travel. That I can afford a decent lifestyle. That I can write. That I’m healthy.

The following I’ll probably do. But seems more of a private thing. I thought I’d share. Happy New Year. May it be a positive year in the growth of you.

Consider listing all the things in your life of which you’d like to let go–anything you no longer want. Give thanks for what they’ve brought you in terms of learning and usefulness and then burn the list. It’s a symbolic gesture to help you release the old and be open to the new. The next step is to list what you DO want–experiences, knowledge, material things, relationships, healings, whatever.

In doing this, you’ll be using the principle of vacuum– releasing what you don’t want and embracing what you do.

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I apologize, Blog. I do.

27 Dec
Yeah, so it goes like this:

I know, I know, but hear me out…
My heart has been with another.

But I still have checked in on you. I know. And I’m sorry.
But you were fine.
Readerless. But fine.

You hung around another year and though I didn’t visit and talk to you much, you did grow a little.
See? We’re both another year older.
Another year where the ocean of life rolled in and out. Up and down.
But we’re still here. Right?

I promise, in the future, I will do better at coming around here. Talking to you.
We can maybe go get drinks in a few weeks. Once my newest novel is done.
Yes, (chuckles) that’s right. You’ve never been as demanding as a novel. Yes, (chuckles) they are prima donnas and – no, I know, they ARE full of themselves. But there’s also a love there that I can’t get from you. So you both help each other out. I guess.

So I need to go back to it. The work in progress that is. So I’m about to leave you again for a while. But I’ll be back next week with my annual list of books I’ve read in 2012. So don’t cry. No, it won’t be too long.

But before I go, let me just say something that’s been heavy on my heart for much too long…