Brave

SF Flower

Anyone else heard about the thing where you choose one word to go with you through the new year?
For a couple of years I only heard about it when the year was about halfway through and I forgot about it afterwards. It sounded cool: choose a word that means something to you (or pick a word from their list of ideas) and use that word to inspire or motivate your life.

Last year I joined in and chose the word “brave”. It was choice I wasn’t entirely sure of at the time, because it seemed rather cliche and possibly bland. Then there was the disappointing movie that had recently come out.

But I decided to go with it anyway.

Then Sara Bareilles came out with her song.

And Neil Gaiman posted his New Year’s Wish:

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And all through the year, when I had a choice to do something easy or do something brave, it inspired me.

  • I applied for promotions at work, even ones high above my current ability level. I started building relationships with those managers, putting a framework in place for the future.
  • I dove headfirst into my romantic relationship when I didn’t know what I was doing, because growing and being in it with him is more important than staying in my comfort zone.
  • I volunteered for extra work trainings to grow my skills.
  • I said yes to acting in a Christmas show even though I hadn’t been in front of an audience in 15 years and didn’t know what I was doing.
  • I set boundaries with people.
  • I insisted on getting some medical assistance, changing doctors when the one I had wasn’t listening to me (and as the recently-returned tests show, I was right).

I really like how this year turned out. I like how “brave” became such a part of my life.

My new word for 2014 is another one I’m not totally sure of, so I’m going to go with it.

My word for 2014 is “energy”.

I think it’s partly about having more physical energy and focusing on things I can do to boost that. And partly it’s about rejecting negative energy and embracing positive energy. So it’s a word with more than one meaning to me.

Have you joined One Word in the past? Are you doing it this year? Share your word!

Possibility

What is it about sparkly things that captures our attention?

I don’t think I’ve ever described anything sparkly in my writing. As much as I pause, mesmerised, by a window display full of colorful jewelry or an aisle of beads and baubles, I’ve never written them into a story.

I think this needs to change.

While I was at work today at a different location than my usual, a coworker got a box of beading supplies out for someone. I was helping to paw through it to find something for her to use and I found amber-golden beads smaller than popcorn kernels, tropical-ocean-blue beads the size of apple seeds, and chunky oblong purple-grey things nearly an inch long. The potential that sizzled in that box, all the things those bits and colors could end up being, was a heady and magnetic thing.

I felt greedy, covetous. I wanted those beads–not to make anything, or to have the result (although I wouldn’t have said no if someone handed me a necklace made from some of them)–but just because I wanted to hold onto the possibilities. I wanted those futures to be mine.

I also feel that covetousness when I come across what seems to be a treasure trove of first and last names: cemeteries, old school email forwards with three million people’s names on it (especially the kind where they add their names to the very long list), a junk mail folder full of random real-sounding names.

Bold, vibrant old or arty pictures bring it out of me as well: the kind of photo where you feel like you could sink into the world that’s being depicted, or the kind that seems larger than life. Like the person in it has a story which is practically telling itself through the photo.

I wonder, what is this drive in me that wants to possess potentials? I don’t seem to care about capturing the information attached. I just want to have, to own, to control, something that shimmers with its own, un-stealable, distinct flavour of possibility.

Anyone else do this?