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Monday, December 6, 2010

In One Word?...Relief!

Okay, so I signed up to participate in a writing project called "#Reverb10".  Why?  Well, I was inspired by my long-time friend and former college roomie, Lisa, who has accelerated leaps and bounds in her creative writing efforts this year.  I also thought making this commitment to write would help me leave my procrastinating behavior in the dust and help me to begin, yet again, my efforts to sort my feelings and purge my thoughts through writing.  I also appreciate that each day we are given a prompt that helps us reflect on the past year.  As it turns out, in December, I always tend to reflect on what went well, what were my challenges, and how I can make the upcoming new year a fresh start and opportunity to accomplish some of my goals.  So, at this point being that it is December 6th, I am a few days behind but I plan to play 'catch up' today so bear with me.

December 1 - One Word. Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word.  Explain why you're choosing the word. Now, imagine it's one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you? (Author:  Gwen Bell):

After a couple of days of ruminating over this first prompt in the #Reverb10 challenge the one word that encapsulates 2010 for me is:  RELIEF.  It feels like I am breathing much easier in 2010 than the previous year of 2009.  I can't help but compare where I was in 2009 versus where I ended up in 2010.  No, things are by no means 'perfect' but, as we all know, they never really are.  In 2009 I was facing some serious health problems and embroiled in my eldest son, Justin, and his senior year stressors like graduation and college applications and acceptance.  Once January 2010 hit I pretty much had my shit together.  Basically, there was no other choice.  I had completed my FAFSA application on New Year's Day, the first day that it was available.  I busted my butt to get my taxes done so that, if and when we found out where Justin was accepted, we would know our financial obligation and potential award.

The next big hurdle was finding out where Justin was accepted and planning college visits during spring break.  We had a lovely trip and I was able to organize the entire adventure with visits and hotel logistics in place.  And, we actually had a good time!  Bonus.  Justin was able to decide where he wanted to start his college career and we were all happy and comfortable with his decision.

The third hurdle to overcome was Justin's graduation in June.  It may not sound too difficult considering Justin is a good student and quite committed to continuing his education.  But, the thing is, in September 2009 when I had my serious health scare, I seriously doubted that I would ever make it til June 2010.  In fact, I actually prayed every day that I would live long enough to see Justin graduate.  And here I was, sitting in the audience, proud as ever that Justin was graduating and I was there, alive, to see it!

I had been concerned in anticipation of Justin leaving for college that my younger son, Nicolas, would have an extremely difficult time dealing with Justin's absence from home.  The thing is, Justin and Nicolas are not only brothers but they are best friends.  Yes, there is four and a half years between them but they are extremely close.  They have always respected and loved each other and I never, ever had to break up a physical fight.  They are brothers, they are each others' protector, and they love each other.  So, I wondered what I could do to help Nicolas get involved in something that was his own.  Something that would keep him busy and focused on himself rather than the fact that his best friend was away.

Since Nicolas was a baby we were encouraged by complete strangers to get him into modeling.  He had an agent when he was eleven months old and did a print job.  I took him to New York after agencies expressed an interest and even declined offers for contracts.  I just didn't see myself making the commitment to commute from Connecticut to New York as a young mother with a toddler in tow.  Looking back now, I wish I had, but, I digress.  So, over the years we tinkered with the idea of getting back into it.  When we moved to Raleigh, NC I knew we left THE market for major opportunities in the industry.  But, as a result of Nicolas being on the City of Raleigh swim team, Nicolas' picture was used in a marketing campaign for the City of Raleigh Department of Parks and Recreation.  His image was used in their brochure, a magnet that was sent to residents, and believe it or not, it was used in a poster that is framed at our local Applebee's restaurant!  When I was very new to Facebook last year I heard of a Tween Model Search contest sponsored by a local photography studio.  Nicolas agreed to participate, did the photo session, and we solicited and campaigned for online votes.  Nicolas was one of the 2009 Soul Fusion Photography Tween Model Search winners.  We won a free photo session.  We ordered some 8x10's.  Then, I thought, I should send out his photo and resume to some local agents.  In July we were invited to audition for a local agent and Nicolas was signed to a two-year contract.  He's done his first taped audition reading for a major cable television show.  He's taken a class.  He is on his way; pursuing his career and one of his passions.  Yes!

As for me?  Well, I finally started my blog.  No, I don't have any/many followers but I did start the healing within myself and my soul.  Writing for me is therapy.  I may be the only one listening (or reading) but I am definitely inspired by my writing. 

As an aside, I am relieved that my husband is employed.  This economy has been disastrous for close friends and strangers.  Every one is struggling.  My husband works his ass off and while it has not been recognized financially, we are grateful that he has a place to go every day and make a contribution.

Looking ahead to 2011 I anticipate that the word to summarize the year will be:  ACHIEVEMENT.  I know Justin will do well in college and anything he puts his mind to.  I just want him to be happy and fulfilled with whatever he chooses to pursue.  Nicolas will take some classes to hone his craft.  Nicolas will book print jobs, commercials, and participate in movies and television.  He will be a paid actor and model.  I will continue to blog (more diligently and frequently) and write my god damn novel!  David will be financially recognized for his hard work in 2011.

Final words:  Believe and Achieve!


  1. Yes, dear. Write the damn book! :)

    Thrilled you're on board with the #reverb10 project and that 2010 saw so many blessings for you & your family.

    As the Journey song goes, "Don't Stop Believin'"

    xoxo, LMB

  2. Lisa,

    I like doing this project. Having a prompt that makes you reflect on the past year is helpful to put things in perspective.

    It is a valuable tool to help me set some goals for 2011 and boost my energy and excitement for a fresh start in the new year.

    We should all 'write the damn book', already'!