My friend* Katie chose a word last year (or perhaps the year before) to inspire her choices throughout the year. It was brave, which has actually been my word for several years now. I couldn’t shake it. I think it’s such a wonderful, simple-yet-powerful word. Felicity has chosen a similar one for this year: Dare. And I love this one-word idea. Although, as a person who can rarely decide between breakfast and dinner for one meal at a restaurant that offers both, choosing one word for a year sort of makes my head explode.
There is something I keep thinking about, though, and it’s this word: Honest. I haven’t worked it all out, why exactly I keep thinking about it. But it’s just a general feeling that I want to be all me, from the deepest part to the outer edge that people actually see. I want my efforts to match what I say is important to me, and my actions to match the priorities of my heart and soul.
I started this in years past, but I want to keep a list of what I want most and be deliberate about whether or not I’m pursuing them. Things like a good relationship with my kids and a place in the world of storytelling. It feels honest that I’ve written a handful of things in my day-planner so far this year: My next cancer checkup, Jake’s class play in February, and Awards Season (People’s Choice, Golden Globes, SAG Awards, the Grammys, and the Oscars). Not everyone in my life will truly get all the parts of me, but I like the idea of being all of me, all the time, whether I’m fully understood or not.
I’ve really always been known as honest, or real, as people say. And in my teens I developed a theory that it’s generally not that complimentary to be known as real, because real people tend to be too blunt and say how they feel without concern for how it might be perceived. I started praying that my real would also be kind. If I don’t think ill of that person, then I can be real with them without being mean. If I face the day bravely and with kindness, then I can be real about how I’m doing without being grouchy and a drag.
And that’s all a part of my word this year too. On Tiffany’s blog, I wrote that serenity is a favorite word of mine – getting older, I’ve loved trying to live up to the beautiful word my parents gave me as a name. And what could be more honest that that? So maybe serenity is also a good word for my year.
“You are one person, indivisible,” I quoted earlier on the blog. And that, in the amplified version, is my word.
*I used to clarify that Katie is only my cyber friend, someone I’ve met online but not in real life. But I’ve decided eventually some friends become the real thing, long before you meet them, and I’ve dropped the cyber disclaimer with these.