Thursday 22 September 2011

My 2010 10Q answers

This time last year I did an exercise in personal reflection guided by 10Q. Here are the results:

Day 1:
Describe a significant experience that has happened in the past year. How did it affect you? Are you grateful? Relieved? Resentful? Inspired?

My answer:
I decided not to finish my DPhil thesis on James Joyce at Oxford University. I felt regret and pain, but also relief. I was lucky to get a job at a web design and development company soon after - the first and only job I applied for. I've been much happier and more fulfilled since, although at times the pressure of work tips into stress. I have a busy life and don't find the time to keep on top of all my personal admin, as I was able to do during my graduate studies.

Day 2:
Is there something that you wish you had done differently this past year? Alternatively, is there something you're especially proud of from this past year?

My answer:
I'm proud of the way I have grown up emotionally this year. I developed feelings for one of my friends, and instead of bottling it up and stewing on it for months, I told her quite early on. We went out on a few dates, but she decided that she didn't want a relationship with me. I think I handled the rejection quite well compared to how I've reacted in the past. It still hurt, but I'm trying to move on. It helped that I was open about how I felt and let her know unequivocally how I felt about her. I'm proud that I made her feel good about herself when we were going out. I still wish she could reciprocate my affections.

Day 3:
Think about a major milestone that happened with your family this past year. How has this affected you?

My answer:
My sister gave birth to her third child. I'm much less interested in children than I was when my first niece was born. I really don't enjoy the company of small children much. I don't have the patience. When I'm with that part of my family, I keep a low profile. I don't want to be the kids' favourite because I don't want to be high in demand. I don't have the energy.

Day 4:
Describe an event in the world that has impacted you this year. How? Why?

My answer:
I raised money for the Pakistan flood victims by busking in Oxford with Sol Samba.

Day 5:
Have you had any particularly spiritual experiences this past year? How has this experience affected you? "Spiritual" can be broadly defined to include secular spiritual experiences: artistic, cultural, and so forth.

My answer:
The closest I've had to a spriritual experience is drumming with Maracatu Estrela do Norte in the Notting Hill Carnival. The repetitive rhythm of maracatu can send you into a trance. With the sound systems blasting out in front and behind us during the parade, there were times when I thought I could hear angels singing above our drumming.

Day 6:
Describe one thing you'd like to achieve by this time next year. Why is this important to you?

My answer:
I'd like to have a girlfriend by this time next year. It's important to me because I have been frustrated in love many times. I feel I've got a lot to give, but haven't met someone who is willing to reciprocate it. I think I would feel happier and more fulfilled if I had a girlfriend.

Day 7:
How would you like to improve yourself and your life next year? Is there a piece of advice or counsel you received in the past year that could guide you in this project?

My answer:
I would like to become a better rugby referee over the next year. This is my first season on the Southern Federation Development Squad, which is a great opportunity to improve my skills and experience. There's no one piece of advice that will guide me. I will have to be a sponge and absorb all the advice that is offered to me, decide what I want to take onboard, and then wring the rest out. It will help having more regular reports from match observers and weekly contact with my coach.

Day 8:
Is there something (a person, a cause, an idea) that you want to investigate more fully in 2011?

My answer:
I want to get deeper into samba and maracatu - have more experiences playing in big fuckoff batterias. I'd like to spend more time with my friend, Bethan, and get to know her better. I might want to investigate spending some time in Brazil - I'd love to play with Viradouro at Rio Carnival.

Day 9:
What is a fear that you have and how has it limited you? How do you plan on letting it go or overcoming it in the coming year?

My answer:
I'm not really afraid of many things. I used to be afraid of parties, but in the past year I've been to a couple of grown-up parties and really enjoyed myself. It helps knowing most of the people there, liking them, and wanting to spend time with them.

I used to go into my shell at parties and just stand in a corner not talking to anyone, waiting to go home.

Day 10:
When September 2011 rolls around and you receive your answers to your 10Q questions, how do you think you'll feel? What do you think/hope might be different about your life and where you're at as a result of thinking about and answering these questions?

My answer:
I think I'll be glad I went through this process and intrigued by the things that were preoccupying me a year ago. I might be slightly embarrassed by my answers. I hope that I'll have a girlfriend this time next year and will be able to share my answers with her. (If you're reading this, HELLO!) I'm not sure answering these questions will be a catalyst to any change in my life, but I might surprise myself. Maybe they'll reveal something about myself that I'm not fully aware of now. See me next year!

Day 11:
What are your predictions for 2011?

My answer:
Love will find me, I hope.

Want to do this yourself this year? 10Q begins 28 September 2011.

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