Reverb14: 5 Minutes

(For the past four years, I’ve used Reverb10 prompts to give myself a question to answer every day of December. It’s a great way to reflect on the year and set goals for the future. I’ve kept my favorite prompts, added a few from other sources like Project Reverb and created my own month-and-a-bit of questions.)

5 minutes. Imagine you will completely lose your memory of the past year in five minutes. Set an alarm for five minutes and capture the things you most want to remember about the year.

The year he read the email from the recruiter to you and you just knew. You were moving to Los Angeles. That was where life was taking you. And you knew also that it was better to try and reach out, grab the change and the change life was giving you and live to regret it than to stay put in a life that was nice but not perfect. This was the year you jumped.

This was the year you became a landlord.

This was the year you realized you absolutely suck at being alone. That was a huge shock, although why it was such a shock is an example of complete ignorance and hubris.

This was the year you discovered Dr. Who. He kept you company.

This was the year you realized you’d let your professional network sag, and relied on your boss’s at the last minute to land the interview.

This was the year you started the first new job in a long time. And realized that you are a pretty darn likable person with a great reputation.

This was the year you were at a conference hotel and an elevator opened up and people screamed your name they were so happy to see you.

This was the year you were walking across the quad at school and the crows – something about those crows – you were filled with dread. You knew something was wrong. And later that day you learned Dad was in the hospital. And mom went on a trip she’d planned anyway. You called him every day. And you called her, too. You might never forgive him for getting that sick – preventable stuff if he would just show some willpower. You might never forgive her, either – angry as she had a right to be you’d have stayed.

This was the year you started to make the wedding ring quilt.

This was the year you finally acted like a rich person.

This was the year you landed on your feet.

This was the year you bought shorts. Not camping shorts, going-out shorts. And flip flops.

This was the year you started eating salmon again. And having reoccurring dreams of hunting mice and eating them.

This was the year you tried yoga on the beach. And got so many sunburns you had to stop going.

This was the year it all happened at once. Illness. Recovery. Job offers and giving notice. Security and risk. Getting rid of lots of things and too much online shopping. Moving on from the accident and returning to the place it happened. People you thought were solid announcing divorces and people you thought were bachelors showing up with ‘the one. ’ You had two homes at the same moment you were sleeping on a blow-up mattress in an empty room. That’s the metaphor of the year, baby. Too much and not enough and all of it together.

(Last year I wrote this.)

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