I talk about my One Word 365 a lot. All of my friends know what my word is and how I’m doing with it at any given point of the year. Last year, when my word was FREEDOM, I threw myself a party mid-year to celebrate just that. This year I am on this journey with ADVENTURE and I am publicly doing and documenting a physical ADVENTURE every month. I have the support of everyone in my life, even peripherally, as I walk down this road.
There is so much more to my word than action.
Admittedly, everything about these monthly ADVENTURES is teaching me something about myself, something about my character, something about my ability. But it’s the little things that are showing me how my word is present in my life every day.
One of the best parts about talking about my word so much is that people ask me to describe my ADVENTURES; they ask me to describe how I felt in the moment or the things I saw or said. I find, too, that the more I talk about my word – the more I HAVE to talk about my word. It spills out of me and it’s like I can’t help it.
I am held accountable by the fact that people know my journey.
When I first started the One Word 365 journey three words/years ago, I was embarrassed to talk about it with people. I was so much less sure of myself back then; I’d lived my whole life in a world where my Christianity wasn’t normal or accepted and I was ashamed to admit “it’s sort of this thing with God and me.” The second year I was much more open with my word, I had found a culture of acceptance in Los Angeles and I no longer felt ashamed to let my non-believing friends know what God was doing in my life. There were only a handful of Christians at my FREEDOM party – the rest were just friends who love me.
I have a Facebook photo album dedicated to my monthly ADVENTURES. The album has garnered comments like “good for you!” and “you go girl!” Of course, I am not doing it for that recognition. I am doing it so that I can’t forget to have an ADVENTURE. If other people know my word and see me talking about and living my word, they’re going to expect those ADVENTURES. That’s the kind of accountability this by-the-book, anti-risk-taker needs.
Your One Word 365 becomes a part of who you are.
This isn’t always as obvious as someone posting photos of their flying trapeze class (I did that). My first word was KEEP. It was deeply personal to God and me and I grew exponentially as a result – but it wasn’t so out there for people to see. The things I learned that year helped lead me to FREEDOM and FREEDOM helped lead me to ADVENTURE – each of my words is a part of me. I’ve just reached a place where I am more comfortable letting people know that.
I’ve been trying to date lately, which is much harder than I ever thought it would be. I put my word on my OK Cupid profile. Isn’t online dating sort of an ADVENTURE in itself? A guy messaged me and the first topic of discussion was my year of ADVENTURE. We went out about a week and a half later – we spent a large portion of our date discussing my word. Then I turned the tables: “What would your word be?” I asked him.
Each January I stare at my word as if I’m looking down the barrel of a gun – utterly terrified. Will I be able to complete the task? What will I learn? Each year I am surprised. Most surprising of all is the way other people care; the way they love me through and support me on this journey.
How about you? Do you feel like shouting your word from the rooftops yet? (Don’t worry if you don’t, it’s only April.) What are some ways you find to make your word public? How do you find people respond to that?