“Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life; define yourself.” – Harvey Fierstein
I have been sitting at my computer staring onto this blank screen for what seems like eternity – which I am sure, has only been 15 minutes… For whatever reason, I feel like this is the hardest post I have written to date. I know that I feel completely vulnerable and that makes me uncomfortable (or maybe it’s from this depressing singer/songwriter acoustic remix I have playing…). One thing about me is that I am a VERY closed off person. I don’t like talking about my feelings or my emotions. If I am mad, upset, sad, whatever, I will internalize it, deal with it, and shove it away. Unhealthy yes, but it is me. So feeling as though shit is about to get real scares the hell out of me. But let’s do this.
Last year I saw people pick a word – their one word for the year “This process forces clarity by taking all of your big plans for life change and narrowing them down into a single thing”. I didn’t really take the time to understand it. Then this year, I read Taryn’s word (she chose “YES”) and it got me thinking I should try this out – especially since my 2013 bucket list was a completely fail!
So… I took a few days and I came up with my word – which is really an acronym since I clearly have issues following rules. LOVE. Learn, Work, Serve, Respect.
Backstory – I don’t know how to articulate this without making myself sound heartless – I am not a compassionate person, I lack sympathy and empathy. I am a very black and white person, I hate grey, it is or it isn’t, yes or no. There are no maybes in my world. I have the mentality that shit happens, roll with it, everyone has their own issues so shut up and deal with it. People come to me for help/advice if and only they want a blunt answer. I do not coddle, I do not tell you everything will be okay, I do not give hugs and a shoulder to cry on. I will give you a reality check, go over realistic options and if you are still dwelling a week from now, I sure as hell do not want to hear it. Either make a change and do something about it, or shut up and dwell on your own. Seriously though, I really AM a nice person, even though I sound like a cold and heartless person. I always had these qualities but I feel that taking a business program in college made it much deeper – look out for yourself and only yourself, it’s not personal it’s business, if you want a promotion you work on it and don’t depend on anyone, etc.
So, why love? Love the life you live, and live the life you love. Simple as that. As for the acronym, I believe you can always learn. You can learn from every little thing you do, learning is growing – whether it is learning in a classroom, a book, or just life itself. Knowledge is Power. Everything is work, working on this word, working on learning, serving, and respecting. It will not be easy but it can be achieved. Serving, this is the hardest aspect for me. Letting go of “look out for yourself and only yourself”, allowing people in, trying to show compassion and empathy. Serving others. Even if it is just a smile at a stranger. I mentioned to Jamie once that everyone is constantly saying ‘Hi’ to him, and he said he “looks them in the eye and smiles” – seems simple enough, but honestly I don’t do it, I don’t know how – I never saw the reason for it – I don’t know you, so why would I welcome you in? Respect is a quick follow up. Having respect for those strangers and what they might be going through, offering a smile in case that is the only thing they receive that day.
All of these goals seem so simple, but it is so outside of my comfort zone. The fact I am writing this amazes me. I feel vulnerable, scared, uncomfortable, and everything in the thesaurus which falls under those.
I am thinking I will leave it at that. I poured out more emotion than a Dr. Phil episode. My word is Love, Learn, Work, Serve, Respect. I got this, 2014, I got this.
… Now, it is time I go mix myself a drink.
+ Did you pick a word (acronym/phrase – if you can’t follow rules like me) for 2014?
+ Do you believe in grey areas or are you black and white like me?
+ Did you accomplish items on your bucket list last year?