Reverb11.1: The Word Of The Year

Last year, I did a remarkable exercise called Reverb10. It consisted of following one word prompt every day and posting using it. Because of the breakneck schedule, it forced me to write without thinking, dig deep & scour my depths for answers to the questions. A year later, I still look back to those posts for insights and wisdom. I enjoyed writing them and I enjoy reading them.

This year, I got thrown off schedule since December began by sweeping me off my feet & schedule (ill-health, overtight schedules yada yada yada yada). But the Reverb11 format allows for flexibility and I think I can pick it up mid-month just as well as the start.

To make things different (and more challenging), this year I’m going to be Reverb11 ing on XX Factor instead of The Idea-smithy. What this means is that instead of the introspective tone, I’m going to take the more kickass, action-oriented voice that this blog signifies. Also, I’m going to answer the questions as they pertain to relationships, gender politics, feminism & dating, all of which are the purview of XX Factor. Wish me luck!

Of note, Reverb10 was started by Gwen Bell. This year, it has become a community initiative with several people contributing their own prompts. I’m following Everlasting Present‘s mailing list.

Here’s the first:

Reverb11.1: One Word

Encapsulate the year 2011 in one word. Explain why.
Imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2012 for you?

A lot happened this year. I finished my book. I got a lot of writing work and amassed a portfolio that makes me happy. But most importantly, I saw myself really change.

Being in a close relationship changes you. I’m not talking about the societal pressures laid on you and the enforced roles. I’m talking about the breaking down of age-old defenses, the wearing away of ancient ways of thinking and the meltdown of you as you’ve known you. Just having to converse with another person, involves change at some miniscule level. Multiply that thousandfold for the person that you’re in a close relationship with. Factor that ten times for a person who is opposite to you in every way. And throw in a liberal accelerator of equal individuality, obstinacy and forcefulness. There is no way on earth either of us could have remained unchanged.

I need to talk less than I used to. I think & worry less than I used to. I ponder things much more than I used to. I take more responsibility, look further, plan more than I used to. I also conform more than I would have liked to admit. I am less flexible than I wanted to believe. I’m a complete stranger to the person I was a year ago.

2011 has to have been Metamorphosis. With all its gore, its heat & dust, its pain and its breath-taking results.

I think we’ve spent a lot of time working hard on the fundamentals of our relationship and there is yet work to be done. If ‘we’ were a place instead of ac couple, then we’d have a slightly faded signboard, a paved road, some new huts in place and a field of sowed seed. We haven’t yet gotten to enjoying the fruits of our labour. There is much joy to be had, a lot of laughter to be shared, plenty of comfort to be enjoyed together.

2011 was anything but boring with all its dramatic swings and its unnerving changes. It was also very tiring. I’d really like to be able to relax and enjoy the rewards for all that we’ve gone through. I know we’ll never be one of those placid couples. Yet, there can be stability in chaos, peace at the very center of a storm. I’m seeking that serene place.

A musical metaphor feels apt at this juncture. After all the tuning and straining, I think it’s time for us to make music together in rhythm.

2012 will be Rhythm I hope.

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