#Reverb11 Day 20: Friendship

Prompt: Friendship – What kind of a friend were you in 2011? What kind of a friend do you want to be in 2012?

My first thought: “How the hell should I know?”

A good man told me that the best answer to this kind of question is “Could’ve been better.” Now do I have the sense to leave it at that?

I know the kind of friend I hope I am. I hope I was there for my friends this year when they needed me. I hope I said the right things when I got there. I hope they felt it every single time I sent them positive vibes, good thoughts or general ass-kicking support.

I hope they know how much they mean to me.

2011 was knocked a bit sideways.  I can’t look at this year without feeling that my eyes are clouded, that I’m seeing it through smoked glass, a picture fading to black and white. I know I did things. I know I had fun. I know there were some great months, and this month isn’t even over yet. But there were those other months too, weeks upon weeks overshadowed by the Crohn’s that laid Mr. HouseofBeck flat. That takes a toll. I think I became somewhat of a worried hermit, not going out much because he couldn’t and the thought of leaving him at home feeling dreadful and alone just fractured me.

I escaped where I could online and through books, and I know my friends helped me. But did I help them as much as I could?

I honestly don’t know if my thoughts translated to deeds in every case. I’m a little too exhausted to fathom 2012 right now. But I’m glad I’m here to see it, and at the very least I hope I continue to be a strong support for my friends when they need it–even before. Part of who I am is giving the love and support they need.

So come on, 2012. I’m ready!

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#Reverb11 Day 16: A Community I Love

Prompt: A Community I Love – Online & in real life, we’re all part of a multitude of communities. Tell us about one that moves you.

A Community I Love

This one was easy. It’s social media as a whole, because it’s brought me all of you.

There’s something about the magic of instant connection that mimics what I loved so much in college–late-night intellectual conversations where you wind up watching the sunrise together, piling into the dorm TV room to watch the Muppet Movie and realizing in shock just what went over your head when you saw it as a kid, laughing without being able to stop at absolutely nothing at all. It’s the togetherness, the shared vibe, the mutual understanding that we crave so much.

With everyone scattered away from that deliciously insular college life, I found Facebook to be an incredible connective tool. Now I can be up late talking to someone just starting their day, or see the window flooded with sunrise just as someone else is headed out for the evening. Time almost doesn’t matter, so while I may miss the real-to-real frisson and vibe, the surrogate is this fantastic, flexible internet.

I know the definition of “friendship” can be highly debated when you’ve never met someone in person and completed the circle, but I believe you can have valuable, trusted relationships nonetheless. There’s something joyous about posting a thought, important or mundane, and having it understood and responded to by someone you may never meet in person but who you know is there for you.

So to the friends I now know better than ever because we have Facebook, friends from the gothy community who virtually tickle me pink every day, my dear online buds Noël, Diahann, Ty, Michelle, Ed, Diana (and I always worry I’ll leave someone off so I am cutting this list off short right now), friends I’ve just met and the friends I have yet to meet–you all make this whole online lifestyle the bountiful magic kingdom it’s supposed to be. And I thank you all for that.

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#Reverb11 Day 14: Gratitude

Gratitude – What five (5) things are you most grateful for from 2011?

Gratitude (in no particular order)

1. My friends. Oh, you people are marvelous. From work to play, you make me collapse in laughter, giggle at lewdly inappropriate things, shatter my boundaries and take absolutely nothing at face value. The phrase “expand my horizons” just isn’t enough for what you do for me. You’re absolutely brilliant. You’re also the greatest supporters a person could have. Even if you’re on the other side of the world, I can feel you out there. Take care, all of you–always.

2. Mr. HouseofBeck. He’s included in the above, but just in case there’s any doubt, he gets his own line. I am extremely glad he’s in this world and in my life. He accepts me for who I am even when I’m fighting mad to expand who I am. The dude has more patience and perseverance than is normal. Would I put up with me? Yeek! But as he tells me, “I’ve waited a long time for you.” I can’t even write that without melting. We’ll get through this damned Crohn’s. We have to.

3. My family. The love I feel for you lives in every cell in my being. Lately I’ve been getting flashbacks to childhood, the kind that come colored with shades of feeling and warmth and scent. The way the hanging lamp made out of wicker curves shone a golden light down on just that one corner of the living room. The way dinner cooking on the stove warmed the air. The smell of heat from the furnace that always signified winter. The crisp-cold scent of the Christmas tree brought down from the crawl-space in the garage. Rhythm’n’blues, Beethoven or punk making the walls shake. Learning how to count in Roman numerals from watching old movies. Your voices carrying through the house. It’s all there. Comfort.  Home. Delight. Thank you.

4. My job. I do spend more than 40 hours a week there. It was bound to come up! Without this job, I’d still be a contractor. There’s nothing wrong with being a contractor, but I was really starting to want the comfort of a “permanent” job. You know, with benefits and stuff. I also wanted to keep doing what I love doing, which is reaching out to people through social media for a cause I believe in. This job does that for me. And there are awesome people working there, people I am so glad I’ve met. They’re in #1 too.

5. Creativity. Writing, beading, drawing, singing–they’ve always been part of me, some more than others, but I seem to have found a new renaissance of creativity within me. I have a pile of really cool bracelets, earrings and necklaces. I participated in NaNoWriMo again and won for the 3rd time. I’ve been singing again, if only in the car, if only in the house. I’ve got children’s stories actually out of my head, in front of my eyes, with illustrations. Now I need to take what I’ve got and mold it all into something sublime. And I think I can do it.

6. *Bonus!* 2011. 2011 sucked for many people. It wasn’t supposed to, I know. I can’t say it’s been all that peachy for me all the time either. But looking back over it with just this simple list makes me very grateful I was able to be here for it, to live through it, to come out with new strength and ideas, decisions and determinations. And there were some amazing times I cherish. That’s what looking back over this year has done for me: Made me realize the awesome that was and the awesome that’s yet to come.

May it also be awesome for you.

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