Defining Moment

So even though there was no post yesterday, I did not punk out on yesterday’s Reverb 10 prompt.  In fact, I quite love it.  I feel that I need to marinate in it a bit though.

Achieve: What’s the think you most want to achieve next year? How do you imagine you’ll feel when you get it? Free? Happy? Complete? Blissful? Write that feeling down. Then brainstorm 10 things you can do, or 10 new thoughts you can think in order to experience that feeling today. (Author: Tara Sophia Mohr)

This is more a me and my journal exercise that I can take time with, rather than a slap it in a blog post and hit publish kind of thing.  In fact, I’m working on a couple of things looking ahead to the new year, which build upon the word I’ve chosen for myself for 2011.  Once I have worked through it a bit more myself I may share some of it here.

So on to today’s prompt then:

Defining moment: Describe a defining moment or series of events that has affected your life this year. (Author: Kathryn Fitzmaurice)

I feel very much changed, as I sit and write this on December 28, 2010, from the woman I was one year ago.  Much of that change however, has been incremental.  It’s come in bits and pieces throughout the year.  Certainly there were pushes forward, some of which I’ve already talked about here.  The more I look back at 2010, including via these Reverb 10 posts I feel as though it’s been a “staging” year.  Like the staging area at a concert or a big event, where everything gets put in order and prepared so that the big show can go off smoothly.  2010 was about staging the next phase of my life.

In 2010 I was the most inwardly focused extrovert around.  Looking back on the year I realize that I was getting my house in order, both literally, with the year-long redecoration project, and metaphorically, with the introspective work I was doing.  I spent a lot of time alone in 2010, more so probably than ever before.  And I liked it, maybe too much.  I think that I avoided going out, preferring the happy cocoon of my newly-more-gorgeous-than-ever house.  But I feel a very strong sense that 2011 is supposed to be about living outwardly.

Which gets me back around (finally, sorry) to the prompt.  Defining moment.  Go.  OK, on November 11th I was having brunch with my friend Lesley and she was talking about her upcoming trip to Cape Town to do volunteer work with an AIDS organization there (it must be said that Lesley is a better person than I am).  At one point she looked at me and said “You should totally meet me there”.  I had been toying with the idea of a vacation to SA but the timing hadn’t been right and blah, blah, blah.  But in that moment, and the days that followed, there seemed no reason NOT to go.  I had the time off, I had the money and I found a tour with perfect timing.  I’m booked to leave January 7th.

In that defining moment I took the step that will start my 2011 off in a very outward way.  I will be far away from home, living among a dozen strangers and having new experiences every day.  I’d be lying if I said that, in amongst the major excitement there wasn’t the occasional wistful thought of staying at home curled up on my new couch.  But the fact is that I easily find my comfort zone when travelling.  Also, I’m betting that kicking off 2011 so much further out there in the world than I ever was in 2010 will set me up for a year of new experiences and living my word.

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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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