Tuesday, October 22

Your Word

While reading Eat, Pray, Love for the 500th time, I reached a part that has always struck a chord with me, I've just never really stopped to consider it. Liz Gilbert (the author) is sitting around a kitchen table with her Italian friends and they are discussing which words are best representative of themselves. The conversation shifts a little bit when the cities of London, New York, and Rome are given the words stuffy, achieve, and sex. Liz then defines herself as writer, but her friends point out that is not who she is, but what she does for a living. Fast forward and she discovers her word to be attraversiamo, which is an Italian word meaning 'let's cross over'. She explains it beautifully and passionately and artistically and now I want my word to be attraversiamo too, except that's not how it works.

I then started thinking about the people closest to me and what word best defines them. There must be one word that will remain inclusive of our best qualities as well as our faults, regardless of how much we change over the years. This is turning out to be surprisingly difficult. ONE WORD? I even tried simplifying it for myself by thinking of a word to describe Finn (yes, the dog) but how do you put most annoying dog ever when barking out the window but cutest cuddle bug in the world into one word? Should I go with companion? Every dog is a companion though so that's lame, and the traitor would ditch me for anyone holding a bacon strip. His nickname is stinky-dink, I really have no idea why, it just comes out, but Stinky-dink is definitely not his word. Then I considered needy, but I didn't want the poor little guy to have a negative word! Therefore, I decided that Finn's word will be buddy because after he barks in your face, he really warms up to everyone. At least I have the dog figured out.

Whenever we are in job interviews, inevitably the interviewer asks the interviewee to describe their three best attributes. The interviewee always answers based on what the position is looking for (well you're supposed to- write that down). As a child and youth care worker, I would say words like empathetic, reliable, and responsible. Would those same three words be my definition? I don't think so. How do I encompass everything I have experienced and everything I look forward to?

These days I am very at peace with who I am and what to expect of myself, yet I still cannot figure out my word. Explore? Create? Learn? I used to love wanderlust but now it is overused and lost it's rarity. Inspire? Do I even inspire anyone or just live in my own fantasy word? Audacious? That isn't as pretty looking a word as attraversiamo. Annoyingbloggercloggingfacebook?
I think this is such a great conversation, especially with friends or family and a bottle of wine (or palm bays). What is my word? What is your word and how did you decide on it?

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Lauren Kent

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