Reverb Redux – aka The Catch Up Post

I wish I could say that I was doing a lot of this over the past few days…

But instead life has been filled with lots of these…

and just a little bit of this…

But now it’s time to catch up on FOUR DAYS of Reverb 10 prompts, with apologies to the writers of these great prompts because they are unlikely to get the thoughtful treatment below that they deserve.  Anyhow.  Onward.

December 16 – Friendship

How has a friend changed you or your perspective on the world this year? Was this change gradual, or a sudden burst? (Author: Martha Mihalick)

In addition to taking me to my first “learn to meditate” class and convincing me (not that it took a lot of doing) to meet her in South Africa next month, my friend Lesley said something to me that had a profound effect.  I was in a relationship that I knew was not working for me.  It wasn’t what I needed in my life and I knew that it never would be.  Yet it was compelling.  Despite what I knew to be true I was continually being drawn in.  I remember talking to a few of my friends about it and saying “I know it’s ridiculous.  I know it’s not good for me but I just can’t let it go.”  These friends, rather non-judgementally, to their credit, nodded along with me and agreed that it wasn’t a great situation.  When I said the same to Lesley she looked at me pointedly and said “Of course you can.  You can let it go.  You can stop it.”  I felt like she had thrown a bucket of cold water on me.  I murmured something about how yes, I could end it but… and we dropped it.

Lesley’s words stuck with me though, and they began to erode my feelings of powerlessness.  Of course I could end it.  I could do so whenever I chose.  I began to look at why I was choosing to stay with it.  I wasn’t, in fact, being compelled, as I’d said to myself so often.  No, I was staying with it because it (and he) was feeding some need within me.  Once I realized this it was easy easier to compare what was good about the relationship with what was not good, and then to make a choice about what I wanted.  And I wanted out.  Sometimes I miss him and I miss what we had but mostly I’m glad that I made the choice that was right for me.  And I’m grateful to Lesley for making me see that it was my choice to make.

December 17 – Lesson Learned

What was the best thing you learned about yourself this past year? And how will you apply that lesson going forward? (Author: Tara Weaver)

I learned that I don’t need to accept what’s offered and assume that it’s the best that I can get.  I have a difficult time believing that I am worthy of the good things in my life and the even greater things that I desire.  I have tended to accept what comes my way, especially in romantic relationships, because maybe what I was getting was really all I deserved.  In 2010 I started to move away from that.  I stopped treating any male attention as good attention and focused on what (and who) I wanted, and didn’t want, in my life.  I eliminated things (and people) and gravitated towards others.  It may be a while into 2011 before I’ve fully internalized this lesson and am applying it to all of my decisions, but I’m pretty proud of where I’ve come to this year.

December 18 – Try

What do you want to try next year? Is there something you wanted to try in 2010? What happened when you did / didn’t go for it? (Author: Kaileen Elise)

Hmmmm… This one is interesting.  When I first started thinking of it, all that came to mind was my trip to South Africa.  The fact that I’m leaving January 7th for a 3-week trip to the other side of the world has been pretty preoccupying for me.  Certainly there will be things to try there (sorry Lesley, NOT including shark diving), especially with respect to photographing animals on safari (with my pretty, pretty new 50-200mm zoom lens!).  I would also like to try keeping this blog going and I have a few ideas for regular posting once Reverb 10 is over.  I’m toying with the idea of trying a 365 photo challenge (where you take a photo a day for 365 days).  I’ve been good so far in December with Picture the Holidays.  January will be full of daily photos on the trip.  If I can keep the momentum, I may try joining the Shutter Sisters 365 in February.

I tried a few things in 2010, none of them big on their own but looking back now they make me feel like I accomplished a lot in what I would in no way term an outstanding year.  I tried a number of things around both photography and baking.  I took a portrait photography course and now I’m doing the 31-day Picture the Holidays.  I made a croquembouche!  I tried cooking meat, for other people.  I tried a 3-week vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free, alcohol-free cleanse.  I tried energy therapy.  I tried meditation (must try that again, really).  I’m glad that I tried all of these things.  Some were one-offs but others, like the photography, the short ribs and even the damn cleanse, will stay as part of my life.

*OK, looking back at this post I realized that I kind of cheaped-out on what to try in 2011.  It’s not that the stuff I wrote up there isn’t true.  It is.  It’s that it is such surface-dwelling stuff.  This blog is new and I haven’t yet figured out the level of honesty self-revelation that I’m comfortable sharing.  I still can’t kind of believe that people read this thing (beyond about 3 of my friends who know everything anyhow…).  OK, fuck it (and now I’ve popped the blog’s cursing cherry).  Reverb 10 is about manifesting for 2011.  It seems a shame to wast such a powerful word as manifest on blog-writing and taking pretty photos (not that I don’t want to do both).  Ok, in addition to what I’ve already said, here is what I would really like to try in 2011.  I want to try being in a functional, grown-up love relationship.  I would also like to try to have a baby.

December 19 – Healing

What healed you this year? Was it sudden, or a drip-by-drip evolution? How would you like to be healed in 2011? (Author: Leonie Allan)

At the end of 2009 I met a woman named Jennifer Clark.  Our first meeting had a profound impact on me and started me down the road of self-exploration and healing that characterized all of 2010 for me and will continue into 2011.  This healing has been, by times, both sudden and slow.  It has come in waves over the year (often in battle with waves of fear and self-doubt).  I’m some way from healed but I’m feeling the momentum in the right direction.

 

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About Debra Cowie

Debra is a photographer and visual storyteller based in Ottawa, Canada. She is an explorer at heart, whose passion for photography was born in travel and has been carried with her to more than 30 countries so far. Debra is also an avid cook and baker and much of her current work focuses on food styling and photography in her serendipitously beautifully lit kitchen. She has flirted with Polaroid and 35mm film photography but her true love is her DSLR (aka "Boyfriend Mark").
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2 Responses to Reverb Redux – aka The Catch Up Post

  1. CeCe says:

    Love your honesty. When we can be really honest with ourselves and then others…wow! Now that’s a shift. Thanks!

    • Debra says:

      Thanks CeCe. I started being really honest with myself during Unravelling and it feels good to keep that going. It was easier though to be that plainly honest with a tribe of supportive strangers than I’m finding it is here. I’ve spent so much time projecting outward a particular version of myself that it makes me feel really vulnerable to have people I know read about my insecurities etc. on the blog. On the other hand, if I’m not authentically me here, in this space that I’ve created, then what’s the point? Thanks so much for your kind words. They embolden me. -d

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