brave

near the end of 2014, I was having coffee with a friend and asked her what her new years resolutions were. she explained to me that she found resolutions very difficult to keep up with, but that she liked to choose a word to get to know better over the course of a year. I thought this was a really brilliant idea, and I immediately got to thinking about what word I wanted to meditate on for 12 months.

my word for 2015 was happy. happiness is such an elusive concept. for the entire year, I read books, watched documentaries, had conversations and read articles about happiness. I came to discover that happiness is more than an emotion (or maybe less than an emotion), and more of a state of being. I can’t say that I understand all of the facets of happiness, but it was really fun and interesting to have a focus for the year.

it took me awhile to choose a word for 2016 because there are so many things in life that I want to understand better. I spent several weeks thinking about areas that I struggled with in 2015, and concepts that I wanted to focus on for my future. finally, I chose my word:

brave.

as you may already know, I have had generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) for many years. for a long time, I felt like my anxiety was in control of my emotions, my decisions, and my life in general. since graduating, I have been working very hard on managing this anxiety and all of my additional stress. I'm happy to share that for the first time in a long time, I feel like I am in control of my anxiety. although it is still something that I deal with regularly, I know how to handle it, and I know how to keep it from getting out of control. I am incredibly proud of myself for getting to this point; I can't help but feel like kind-of a badass. :)

I chose brave as my word because although I have many fears, I feel ready to face them. I specifically didn’t choose fearless because I know that fears will always be there - being brave means accepting them and diving into life anyways. there have been many life experiences I have turned down or avoided because of my anxiety, but being brave means diving into those experiences (and making myself uncomfortable). I’m looking forward to documenting these adventures and exploring the meaning of bravery here over the next year.

have you ever chosen a word for a year?