I’ve been loving the reflections on 2010 done by many of my friends and fellow bloggers, and thought I’d add my personal review to the mix. The Top 10 Influential Things from my friend Maggie at One White Girl seems to fit my year and reflection style well, so I’m going to borrow her format for my 2010 reflections.
1. Community living, twice- In spite of occasional thinly veiled conflict and a handful of job frustrations, I am enormously glad I did Lutheran Volunteer Corps, particularly for the many gleanings I gathered about what it means to live in community. I enjoyed and valued it enough to do it again, and now share space in a lovely house in Longfellow, and Benjamin and I plan to have some sort of community living in our home of the future.
2. Early spring relationship turmoil- As Benjamin took time to rediscover himself, so did I. And for the first time I was able to not cling and realize that if our relationship was hurting both of us, maybe it was time to let go. Things were hard, really really hard, and I have a number of anguish-filled journal entries to chronicle those months (do remember that I am often over-dramatic, and anguish probably wasn’t necessary, but that’s how I tend in such situations). But things got better. Much, much better, and now Benjamin and I are…
3. Engaged!- Many of my friends seem to think I’m crazy, or at least doing something quite unexpected. And I supposed getting married is unexpected, at least for the Lauren of a few years ago. But I am deliciously happy, entirely wrapped up in wedding plans, trying to keep things simple, sustainable, quirky and beautiful, and cannot wait to celebrate this new stage in our lives with our family and friends on May 7th.
4. Being a year round bike commuter- Getting around entirely by bike has changed my perspective on countless things: the abilities of my body, the geography of the city, the pace that travel should be, how to build community, the many facets of sustainability…I am committed to being completely car-free as long as it is physically feasible, which ideally will be my entire life, or at least many decades.
5. Becoming more of a ‘flexitarian’- Rather than eating more meat (often I just taste things), becoming open to a variety of ethical diets has helped me value the origin and resource-commitment of all food, not just animals. I shop pretty much exclusively at our local co-op, and love their new P6 labeling because it takes into account not only environmental considerations (like organic) but human welfare as well.
6. Visiting France- Now I’m four continents down (North America of course, Brazil for the World Council of Churches Conference in spring of ’06, and studying abroad in India in fall of ’06), three to go, and six years left to do it. I might let Antarctica go, but it would be AMAZING to visit if the opportunity presented itself.
7. Writing- Journals, this here blog, letters to friends, and a quickly halted attempt at NaNoWriMo; I’m still not quite keeping up with my attempt to write every day, but I’m closer.
8. Working two part time jobs- After the end of LVC I was blessed to find a job relatively quickly. However, it was part-time, and while all of my living expenses are covered by working 23 hours a week, in the interest of saving money for a house, a wedding, future trips, etc, I decided to take on another part time position. And I LOVE IT. I love doing such different types of work, using many parts of my brain, and learning to be patient, flexible, organized, and creative all at once. Aside from the lack of provided health insurance (don’t worry, I’m still covered another way), it’s really the ideal situation for me.
9. The library- I cannot wax poetic enough about my deep joy for libraries in general, the Hennepin county library system in particular. They have very nearly everything I search for, from DVDs to strange non-fiction books, which has resulted in a very eclectic array of media intake in the last year.
10. Staying in the Twin Cities- This place has truly become my home, a place I am proud to belong to (and according to my dear friend Haven, I have chosen Minnesota and Minnesota has chosen me). It’s strange now to think that I had never even visited the state before going to Gustavus for the scholarship competition years ago, and now I’m in place-love. Though many other locales have their wonderful, distinct charms, and I find myself constantly bitten by the travel bug, Minnesota has filled my desire for a place to call home.
2011 Practices to Enact are soon to come!