, I'm part of the Brainlab. We give feedback on the site and write prompts to get the community involved on answering some of Life's Big Questions. These are some of the questions I've asked.
When Will You Be Your Future Self?
The person I aspired to be was a mirage. Not a figment of my imagination. Not an idol I aspired to mimic, but a mirage. I could see her, always in the distance with details I could never quite make out. This person who I wanted to be was waiting at a benchmark on the timeline on my life. I thought that when I was ready and worthy, I would approach her, my future self, able to see all the details up close. Able to pass her the baton and say, "Take it from here."
This imagery had always sulked in me beneath the skin, a cumulonimbus cloud hovering just above the heart--it's only recently surfaced itself. And as silly as it may seem, at 23, I'm just now realizing that I've been living beneath the shadow of my mirage. I thought that becoming her would be something I'd approach quite literally by passing on the very thing I've existed to build. But she doesn't exist without me. I am her.
Who are you? When are you going to turn into who you want to be and how are you going to do it?
People shared ideas and aspirations.
The Past: Revisited
"I long for New York City on the daily. That has never left me."
My friend posted this on Twitter and it struck a resounding chord with me. I miss Savannah, Georgia all the time in a way that makes me feel like maybe I never experienced it enough. Like maybe there's more to see and I'm missing it.
It's a place of grungy alleyways, vocal cats, historic statues in parks, bars always within walking distance and people always on porches. It's a place kept alive with stories and nostalgia. My boyfriend says that nostalgia is a longing for a feeling that you can never have again, which I think is true. But you can't miss something until you leave it.
The energy of Savannah, though often Southern-slow and contained, is the very thing that makes it, for me, a place worth missing. It's something worth holding onto.
What memories does it feel good to have? Is nostalgia bittersweet or just bitter?
Tweet and photos of Savannah by Adeshola Adigun, @thisistheilliad
People shared memories.
Where Do You Congregate?
Whether you're religious or not, you have to admit, that religions have a knack for bringing people together. In a temple, mosque, or church, like-minded folks gather and share their faith. But it doesn't have to be a house of worship. It could be the pool, a coffee house, a park, a mountain, a bowling alley...
Is there a place where you spend time with like-minded folks that's uplifting and makes you feel part of something larger than yourself?
Go there. Take a photo. Share the space with us.
Upload a photo of the coolest place where you congregate.
People shared photos.
One-Word Year in Review
As people weighed in with one-word summaries of 2012, I saw many similarities and patterns. So I looked beyond my SoulPancake word role and created an infographic of users' responses. Infographics usually represent solid, black and white statistics, so playing with words, concepts and emotions seemed like it could be an adventure...and it was!
Click here for a larger, zoomable version.