I'm participating in Reverb10, a daily writing prompt throughout the month of December related to reflecting on the previous year and planning for the next. You can read more about why I'm doing it here. Or read all my Reverb posts here.
Three posts in one today. Efficient or lazy?
Lesson Learned: What was the best thing you learned about yourself this past year? And how will you apply that lesson going forward?When you spend an entire year traveling, when you have no real home, when all your earthly possessions fit inside one suitcase, when you have no nine to five job or office politics to contend with, when you're relatively healthy, when you learn words in a new language every few month in order to communicate in your new country, when you go from summer to spring to winter and back to summer again in a matter of a few months, when your friends and family are continents away: you learn that you can't blame unhappiness on anything apart from yourself and that it's up to you to deal with the ghosts that follow you across the world. You learn that its okay to be sad one minute and happy the next and that life is always challenging but that there are rewards that you never dreamed were possible. You are reminded that stuff matters very little in life and that you probably didn't need all the dresses, kitchen appliances or Ikea furniture. You learn about self-sufficiency and wonder and loneliness and gratitude.
I will never forget this year or the lessons I've learned. They're a part of me and it would be impossible for me to push forward into the next year without continuing to hold them very close.
Try: What do you want to try next year? Is there something you wanted to try in 2010? What happened when you did / didn’t go for it?Eat street food in Vietnam | Visit Halong Bay | Sit on an abandoned tropical beach and swim in the ocean | Write more stories | Go scuba diving | See elephants and monkeys in the wild | Get married | Write more | Read more | Snowboarding or Skiing | Visit Nepal | Spend time at a cabin with no Internet | Develop more technical photography skills | Doodle and draw | Get back into running | Swim. A lot. |
I wanted to do a lot in 2010. I did some of the things I'd hoped - an astonishing number of the things I'd hoped actually. The biggest thing was quitting our jobs, selling our stuff and setting out to travel for a year. It was a bit scary - especially the idea of rootlessness - and entering 2010, I'm not sure if I believed we'd actually do it. But we did and it's been the most transforming experience of my life.
Healing: What healed you this year? Was it sudden, or a drip-by-drip evolution? How would you like to be healed in 2011?I've had the space and time this year to think about how I feel about things and why and to explore all of this through writing, photography and in a number of other personal ways. I've always been a fast moving person - always planning for the next thing, always thinking, always doing and worrying. This year, with so many variables outside of my control, I been forced into a quieter space. I feel like I'm leaving this year with a much stronger sense of who I am than when I entered it.
As for how I want to be healed in 2011? I'm not great at letting things go and I hold onto bad experiences and hurts for a long time. I'd like to be able to let some of that baggage go and to learn to filter out the negativity much earlier in the process.
Oh, and I'd also like to avoid any kind of bug biting interactions if at all possible. Amen.
Photo by me - Vientiane, Laos River Construction