Given how dismal my participation in this blog has been for the last few months, I’ve decided to sign up for Reverb10, a website that prompts bloggers to reflect on their last year and anticipate what’s to come. This last year has been quite monumental, and I want to give a final hat tip and salute to it by pausing once every day this month to reflect on what I’ve learned, and thoroughly synthesize all that has happened. Some posts might be heartfelt and emotional, others might just be a sentence. My goal isn’t to break new ground, my goal is to get back in the habit of writing freely and to illuminate my experiences of the last year and, from them, extract significance.
To 2010. You were pretty great.
Prompt: 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?
This year included a whole host of firsts for me - some good, some bad - and this year I’ve learned to have a new awareness of what it means to understand, and not just my own experiences, but a kind of understanding that includes everyone I know. This year I had to communicate intimately for the first time in my life, I witnessed the birth of my first nephew, I spent a month in England, I entered my senior year of college, the list goes on. I learned something about experience this year, and it’s that whether or not an experience resulted in good or bad is important isn’t so important as the fact that you now understand that experience. For so many things in life, someone can explain to you what something felt like, but until you go through it and feel it for yourself, you don’t really know what it’s like. Once you go through something, whether or not it yields positive results isn’t as important as the fact that you now understand that experience, be that the death of a loved one, losing a job, getting married, becoming a mother. It is having gone through that experience and knowing exactly what it is like that is such a critical element of the human experience - I can sympathize with you because I understand. You don’t even need to explain, I know. That is why I chose “understanding” as my word for 2010.
This next year, a lot of things are going to change. I will be graduating from UCLA, I will be living back at home, and I will need to start making important decisions about my path in life. The prospect of everything I know about life changing in a series of months is a daunting notion to say the least, and to be perfectly honest, I am scared. I feel a little fragile, not knowing exactly where I am going to be in five years, even one year. Despite the fears I have for the future, I want to be able to say, come December 1st, 2011, that I had faith in myself that I could do it (whatever “it” may be), that everything would work out fine. I want to have trusted in my best qualities and relied on my ability to be a fighter and an optimist, despite whatever bad fortune may come. I know that I cannot help certain circumstances and that there are some things in life that I cannot change. However, I do know that there are some things over which I have complete control, and that in most cases I am the captain of my fate. That won’t change so long as I have faith in myself. I want this to be a sentiment I remember all throughout 2011, and a quality I cherish thereafter.