Last year, several of my blogging friends took part in "Reverb": a year end reflection on different subjects related to the previous year and its impact upon a person via daily blog posts during December. Each day had a specific prompt about which the blogger would write. It made for some enlightening reading.
I don't want to promise that I will blog with intelligence every single day. That may not be doable. Yet the idea appealled to me, and though it would seem that the event is not as organized and centralized this year (there are multiple sources for the prompts in 2011, as opposed to one a year ago), I have decided to give some of the prompts a try, and see what happens. (Being here at my sister's housesitting both frees and limits the nature of my daily activities. So it seemed like a good way to keep my writing and thought process sharp. Hence my Sunday post.)
So, for the 4th of December according to the list I am following, I am to answer this question:
What have you let go of this year, and how has it affected you?
Some things I have had to let go of by force. Such as moving into my mother's spare room while my finances improve. Letting go of having my own place. But that involuntary relinguishing has spawned a set of voluntary releases. There are several sub-categories, but I think they can all be placed under the umbrella of having let go of my previous definition of success and worthiness.
I have been through many of those, and the truth is, I don't usually acquire them, for one reason or the other. Some see the difficulty of my situation. Most just blame me for being a downer, and think I deserve my lack of success. But in either case I find throughout my life I have had to continually update what it means to be successful, or a good person. Or at least, the timeline for same.
Three years ago, when I moved into my now former apartment, I had planned to move out with enough money to upgrade by the time I was finished there. This was before I was on Twitter or even before this blog, so I was seeking the more coventional job route at the time. Obviously that traditional job hunt was unsuccessful though the process led to my desire to become my own boss even more so than I had been in years past.
Again, the goal was to move out under my own success and money. Again, I was unable to do so. It was, and continues to be, somewhat depressing to me. Yet I could have railed against it more, or gotten even more pissed, or gotten nostalgic here on the blog about it. I didn't. Nor did I insist on continuing in my new habitat the way I had expected myself to in the previous. I set aside the notion of success in a certain way, by certain means, by a cetain date.
I cannot say I am totally happy about this. This letting go could lead to my seclusion and complete surrender to failure. Don't think I have not considered that risk. But by letting go of those mostly unattainable standards, (though they remain very much nearby in my mind) I opened the way for me to another possibility; I could also let go of the self-judgement of which I have been guilty for so long. This last year in particular.
How has this affected me? It may be too early to tell, as I have only just begun to engage in this perpective. As I mentioned, relinguishing my stern definitions of what it means to be a successful man could either lead to total desolation, and remaining in that spare room for years, without ever coming out. After all, I don't know how to turn things around just yet. I am not sure if my ideas are sound, or if I am built for all of this.
Yet perhaps it can also affect me in a constructive manner. By letting go of my judgements of myself, my expectations, my very rigid timeline and the comparisons I was making between myself and the social "norm", I could perhaps achieve a greater self-acceptence. It remains several blocks away and the sidwalk is icy, but I can see a corner I must turn, even before I am able to turn it. Releasing these definitions may allow me to slow down, reboot, and accept that by society's standards I may be a failure though by my own I need not be.
So there you have it. Not the most compete answer, because this one is still unfolding. Like with most of these type of questions, I am not sure which of the many possible answers would be the most correct, or the most applicable. But this one, despite its recent arrival, seemed a good choice with which to start my Reverb experience. Whatever it may end up being.