Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A Beautifully Different Community, in One Word

A Beautifully Different Community, in One Word
I stumbled across the Reverb 10 project over the weekend after discovering the wonderfully talented in-pursuit-of-happiness writer Gretchen Rubin was offering at least one of the prompts.
The beautiful part about Reverb 10 is that it allows you to choose when you take part, and how you take part, with just some subtle recommendations. The goal is to remember and reflect on what this year, 2010, has meant for each one of us, and manifest our destiny for the upcoming 2011. It is a fitting project for anyone working to get the frump out of their rump.  
One Word 
My mother came to visit me earlier this year. We watched some sappy movies, like “Marley and Me,” and went out to lunch and talked about family members and wedding ideas, should I get married. We also stayed up late and watched Elizabeth Edwards on “Larry King Live.” 

“She is an amazing woman,” my mother said.

“So inspiring,” I said. “I love that the title of her book is resilience.” 

Resilience for me meant different things at the time. Studying business continuity in graduate school, another name for that was in fact, business resilience. You see, resilience, in the business sense, is about the staying up and not falling down during a crisis. Come to find out, resilience means exactly the same thing when someone is battling internal demons or deep challenges of faith. It’s the getting back up and holding on, praying expectantly. It is hope. 
2010 has been a different kind of year for me, faced with change and challenges, some brought on myself, some divinely presented by choices, and others just dumped on me like a bucket of slippery slime. 
Elizabeth Edwards, a woman I did not know, exemplified some of the character traits I admired in my Grandma. The point is, she certainly allowed herself to feel what she was feeling and was unapologetic about it. Yet, she saw no purpose in staying angry or resentful, and she allowed herself the right to imagine a certain, if gradual, passage to happiness. 
Resilience is the word for 2010, and a year from now, it will hope. If we are resilient, we can hold on and pray expectantly. 
The people who read this blog and who unite under the same goal of getting rid of the seemingly “yucky” part about being uncertain in life are part of my community. Those of us who want to visualize and dream-into-life a better tomorrow are the community members I find myself recently aligned with. Whether you are actively blogging or sharing your story, we are all on some sort of journey to find purpose so that we may live the best of our life. We’re a community of education-seekers, budget-minded shoppers, desire-to-give-back volunteers, and some of us are wine drinkers. 

Sometimes, I like to imagine myself standing in a room full of wine tasters and vintage bottles saying, “I’m a Pinot.”

Then, someone says back to me, “I’m a Zin, but I’m better after aging a few years
There is something perfectly beautiful about being part of a winemaking group, which my boyfriend* and I are. 
We are members of all ages, different walks of life, different hobbies, but we all have a taste for wine. 
Something else that’s funny, is when I think of Chelsea Handler’s book “My Horizontal Life: A Collection of One Night Stands” I actually think of wine bottles, because they’re better stored horizontally. 
Excuse me while I laugh thinking of an alternate book cover. 

Beautifully Different
“You are unique,” my best friend would say to me during high school. “You have your own unique qualities that make you, you.” 

She certainly had a nice way of saying the fact that I was different, odd, or even eccentric. 

“Ughpf,” I’d say back. 

“Yay, Annie noises,” she would say to me. 

The cycle continues, and now almost every time we get together the first few minutes are filled with mutterings and sounds that I seem to always make, and some celebrated joy that I’ve made them. 

As I taper off my writing for this collection of Reverb 10 posts, I think of the things that each one of these topics has in common.
I’m part of a wine making group, which involves patience, and a resilience in case something goes wrong. Each varietal, each bottle, is unique and has its own qualities. Each person who tastes the wine explores it differently, identifying parts that not all of us may experience. And, these experiences we have, whether in tasting a wine, or living our lives, may instill in us the same resilience and hope we admire in people like Elizabeth Edwards.

*UPDATED December 28, 2010: Boyfriend is now an ex-boyfriend.

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