Tag Archives: reverb10

Stealing my soul

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#reverb10
reflect on this year and manifest what’s next

Photo – a present to yourself. Sift through all the photos of you from the past year. Choose one that best captures you; either who you are, or who you strive to be. Find the shot of you that is worth a thousand words. Share the image, who shot it, where, and […]

goat photo take soul

This could have been really fun. Except that there are few photos of me from the last year, and really not that many from the last 15 years. I’ve never liked my photo to be taken. It’s not that I think that photos will steal my soul, but just that they don’t turn out looking like how I picture myself (I realize this is not unique to me). But the practical reason for so few photos is that I’ve not made it a priority to carry around a camera. My hubby went through a phase where he was taking lots of pictures a few years ago, but those were mostly landscapes and night shots, not portraits. And since I don’t have kids, there’s just not a lot of gratuitous family photo taking. Sometimes I regret this. But mostly when I think that my children might not have any good photos of me from my twenties and thirties. But then I realize, what children? Does it really matter then?

What it comes down to is if I want pictures, I should take them for myself. If I don’t, I should stop feeling guilty about it and let it go.

Okely dokely

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#reverb10
reflect on this year and manifest what’s next

Everything’s OK. What was the best moment that could serve as proof that everything is going to be alright? And how will you incorporate that discovery into the year ahead?

What makes you so sure that everything is going to be alright? What kind of feel-good mumbo-jumbo is this, anyway? I struggle with wondering if everything’s going to be OK every day. What is the point of trying to make everything better, to work so hard to improve, if at best, half my life is over? And if I haven’t learned something in 40 years, what makes me think that by somehow trying harder I can learn it now?

And yet, something keeps me wanting to learn new things, to break bad habits, to have meaningful relationships with people. I don’t know why, but I still have hope. Somehow, each new day seems endless; a whole world of fresh starts and possibilities stretching into the distance.

I did a trial run of this great spinach dip that I’m going to take to a get-together on Sunday. I was letting it cool and was going to take a picture, but by the time I got around to it there was a cat-tongue-sized divot out of it. Good thing this was only the trial run—I don’t mind a little cat spit.

Merry Christmas.

Emem Neophytos Ameretat Korbinian Sissinnguaq

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#reverb10
reflect on this year and manifest what’s next

New Name. Let’s meet again, for the first time. If you could introduce yourself to strangers by another name for just one day, what would it be and why?

Saint Barbara

I’ve never really liked my name. As a little girl, my family called me Barbie. They were thinking cute. However, I realized by 4th grade that this was completely offensive and insulting on a number of levels. First of all, I wasn’t blond, air-headed, or a bimbo, thank you very much.

So when 5th grade started, I decided to change my name to B.J., for my first two initials. That brought on a little snickering here and there, but at least it stopped the Barbie label for those outside my family. Long lost relatives and friends of the family had a harder time giving it up, but I wasn’t shy about expressing my visceral disgust at the name if they even innocently let it pass their lips.

After 5th grade, I reverted to Barb. It was boring and old-fashioned sounding, but tolerable. I’ve always wished, however, that I had been given a unique name. Barbara’s not the most common name of my generation, but it’s common enough (I didn’t know that it’s been a masculine name choice as well, peaking in 1938). In fact, although it wasn’t too popular by 1970, it was in the top 5 U.S. names for girls in the 30s, 40s, & 50s. I’ve never understood why my parents picked three typical names for their children, but maybe it’s because they were names they had heard a lot growing up. My mom had a fairly common name, but my Dad had a highly unusual name (for his century, at least). I wonder which one of them had more influence choosing the names? I remember mom, who worked for the school district, complaining sometimes about the names parents chose for their children and how the kids should not have to be teased in school because their parents gave them a weird name. So it was probably her.

As a result of my boring name angst, I decided early on that I would name my children very uniquely, and started keeping name lists in my journals. If only I knew where those journals were, I would share a few of those gems with you. But since I do not, I’m forced to poke around at places like http://www.behindthename.com, the etymology and history of first names. I love discovering word origins [geek].

Alas, my step-kids came pre-named (two with common names, one with a pretty unique name), and I’ve only had the opportunity to name a series of animal friends. Connecticut (girl), Queequeg (girl), Tundra (girl), Pip (girl), Algernon (boy), Nevermore (girl), Tamias (boy), Isis (girl), Deimos (boy), and Archimedes, Arcturus, & Hera (foster kittens)—and those are only the ones whose names we changed. How’d we do?

All this is really not bringing me to an idea for a new name. How about a name borrowed from some of my favorite species; Corvus Crazicus, Loxodonta, Acinonyx, Archaeopteryx (or Urvogel), anyone? Or this Native American name suggested by behindthename.com: Sissinnguaq, meaning squirrel in Greenlandic. Or Ameretat, the name of a Zoroastrian goddess of plants and long life. Neophytos, Ancient Greek, meaning newly planted (even if it is a boy’s name). I like the simplicity of the African Emem, meaning “peace” in Ibibio. And Korbinian is derived from Latin corvus meaning “raven.” That’s it, for one day only, I’d like you to call me Emem Neophytos Ameretat Korbinian Sissinnguaq.

Travel; a lifetime ago

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#reverb10
reflect on this year and manifest what’s next

Travel. How did you travel in 2010? How and/or where would you like to travel next year?

A lifetime ago, I was fortunate enough to travel through Europe, live in Madrid, Spain for 8 months, visit Australia’s Gold Coast a few times, travel through England and Scotland, and visit Kauai, Hawaii. Now I can barely afford to go to the Oregon Coast overnight, but we go once in a while anyway. This summer and fall I did at least get out of town to Portland (OR) a handful of times. It was great, because I got to sample all of the fantastic vegan food and go to the vegan mini-mall. A few times were for business, once was for my birthday with my hubby and to catch part of the Let Live Conference, and the last time was to attend Portland VegFest.

I’d like to figure out a way to take a long road trip with my husband this summer, maybe ending up at Summerfest. We’ve talked about it before, but even though I have vacation time, we never seem to have the funds. And I dream of once again traveling internationally—there are so many places I’d love to experience: Mexican and South American ruins, Ireland, the wildlife of Africa before it is gone forever, Japan, China, Russia, and a million other places I’ve not even thought of recently. So many more logistics and barriers now. But maybe someday, again.

Dear current-past self, love future-current self

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#reverb10
reflect on this year and manifest what’s next

Future Self. Imagine yourself five years from now. What advice would you give your current self for the year ahead? (Bonus: Write a note to yourself 10 years ago. What would you tell your younger self?)

Dear Current (Past) Year 2010 Self,

Five-years-in-the-future Self here. Just so you know, I’m writing to give you some facetious gimmicky advice. As if there is any way that you can be warned of what’s coming any more than I can go back and change the past. I still like SciFi and all, but this is real life, not some 15-year-old feel-good fantasy. If I could talk to you over short-wave radio or had a freakin’ time machine we wouldn’t be having this conversation. And besides, I’m not your mom and I’m not going to tell you what to do. Except that maybe now would be the time to get your shit together. Get your ducks in a row. Explore some new creative endeavors. Because crazy things are coming. And you should enjoy the madness. You know, there’s going to be some more heartache and sacrifice involved. But I think you can already see that coming, and clearly, you can handle it. Hey, and keep eating that vegan diet and getting off your ass once in a while—that’s really helping us out.

Oh, and by the way, get pregnant. This really is your last chance. Seriously. Duh.

Dear Past Year 2000 Self,

OK, so here’s the deal. 2001 is going to suck, and there’s nothing you can do about. You’re going to be tested like you’ve never been before. You’re going to lose your beloved cat to a horrible freak accident while you’re away camping in the Mojave desert with a class of biology students, most of whom you barely know, and your jerk husband is going to leave you shortly thereafter. You’re going to feel very stuck. In California, in life. But know this—you’re way stronger than you think you are. You’ll figure it out and make the decisions you need to at your own pace.

You might consider toughing it out in Cali, at least long enough to take advantage of the internship at the Sea Lion Cognition lab, because if you don’t you’ll always regret it. If you can’t work it out, I understand. You’re probably not going to listen to anything I have to say, anyway, and I know you’ll be very stressed out. But at least make peace with the decision then. Also, after a little time to regroup, deal with it all right away—the divorce, the business, the finances, the taxes. Get out of it and go on. Otherwise, years of your life will be tied up in untangling the mess which has been hanging over your head. Trust me, this stuff doesn’t magically resolve itself over time.

And things will look up again. You have so much love in your future. Love that will help you through the roughest of times. And along with the love, you’ll find a new best friend, a new life, a new house, and a new series of careers, all in your old childhood stomping grounds that you swore you’d never move back to.

Oh, and by the way, you’re going to be broke for the next ten years. So enjoy it while you can.

Beyond avoidance

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#reverb10
reflect on this year and manifest what’s next

Beyond Avoidance. What should you have done this year but didn’t because you were too scared, worried, unsure, busy or otherwise deterred from doing? (Bonus: Will you do it?)

Career, anyone? Let’s just say there are certain things that I should have done career-wise that would have been helpful. But I’ve made some changes in the last few months and we’ll see what comes of it. Definitely positive changes on tap for 2011.

Friends. Also, I wish I’d kept more in touch with an old friend. I plan to call her this week.

Rip off the band-aid, fast

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#reverb10
reflect on this year and manifest what’s next

Healing. What healed you this year? Was it sudden, or a drip-by-drip evolution? How would you like to be healed in 2011?

Tough prompt. I’d say writing, because daily prolific NaNoWriMo writing last month helped to make grief more bearable after Deimos died. Was it healing, though, or just a band-aid? Acupuncture, yoga, and one very tough writing session helped me to heal from grief over Connecticut’s passing in February, which had turned into bronchitis and pneumonia. Grief manifests in the lungs, you know.

Who knows what 2011 might bring that I’ll need healing from. Dare I hope not much?