Our words carry weight. They can either tear down or build up, and I have always been a fan of the latter. So, what about claiming one word for the new year – - one word to inspire, motivate, and remind. Alright, I say. Let’s give it a try. Here’s my one word for 2013:
Yes, that’s me. Ha! This photo was taken 10 years ago in 2003 by my friend Matt Gore. I was in a theatre company during college called Workout, and each fall, we would journey to an abbey called St. Procopius in Lisle, Illinois for a time of retreat, reflection, and playing in the yard! Looking at this old photo – - it’s clearly a moment stuck in time. Though I still have that Cheers shirt that used to belong to my Mom and the blue silk headscarf from an ancient trunk in upstate New York, that flat stomach is long gone. “She took the midnight train going anywhere”…and never came back. (Smile.) But I digress….
The word chose me more than I chose it. When brainstorming, it was the first word to pop into my head, and much like the possums still living in our crawl-space, it just wouldn’t leave. So, 2013 is going to be the year of the leap for me.
Leaping can be thrilling, but oh so scary, can’t it? It seems that just when I’m about to take a leap in life, those scraggly voices deep within rise up:
- What if you don’t make it across?
- What if you fall and get hurt?
- What if no one catches you?
- What if you look foolish?
- What if no one cares?
- What if…?
- What if…?
- What if…?
Do you know those voices? I them all too well. But one thing that I have learned in the short time I have had on this planet is that that a life ruled by fear is no life at all. Nor is it the life I’ve been called to live.
Here’s a treasured quote of mine that I first read in the book, The Artist’s Way, by Julia Cameron:
When I reflect back, some of the most growing moments in my life have been terrifying leaps.
Holding Deanna’s hand on the playground. Leap. Going on my first mission trip to Reynosa, Mexico. Leap. Getting up on that stage to audition after crying and vomiting in the boys bathroom. Leap. Gathering around the flagpole to pray. Leap. Accepting the position to manage the college Writing Center even though I didn’t know a gerund from a participle from an infinitive. Leap. Saying yes to dating Mark even though it would be long-distance. Leap. Walking into CWHS without an interview and asking for one. Leap. Starting a blog even though I wasn’t sure what it quite would be or if anyone would care to read it. Leap.
Don’t get me wrong – - my knees are not without scrapes and bruises; my heart not without scars. But that’s part of being a human. Part of living. Part of leaping.
So, in these first few days of 2013, I sit in quiet anticipation of all that this new year holds – - this 2013. For one, I’ll be leaping into a new decade of life! That’s right. I turn thirty (ack!) this March. How bout them apples?
I look forward to the thrills ahead, but also anticipate great trial. Thus, here is my new year’s prayer: for the courage to silence the scraggly voices and the faith to take a running start and leap into the wild unknown.
And believe a net awaits.
What about you, dear reader? If you had to proclaim one single word for your 2013, what would it be?