Finding Your Word For 2017

March 7
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Just when I thought I was going to slay 2017, I realized I didn’t have a Word for the year. This was brought to my attention as friend after friend either posted their Word to social media or told me in conversation how they had intention and motivation for the upcoming 365, tucked neatly into a few syllables. Typically, this information would send me into a vortex of panic, fueled by my never-ending quest for personal growth with a side order of FOMO, but much to my surprise, I was chill. The fact that I know so many people who dig adding deeper meaning to their life and purpose to their days makes me feel like I’ve showered in pure inspiration. So what if I didn’t have a Word this year? I would be content to wave my pom-pons and do back handsprings down the sideline as my friends pursued the shit out of their Words. And then it came to me.


That’s the word that kept tap dancing across my mind when — in late January — I quietly asked, “Do I have a word for 2017?” Nope. All the nopes. Every single last nope that ever was and ever will be. Patience is not my thing. I mean, I can do it when I have to but it eats me alive. Furthermore, lame! My friends were pinning words like “Yes,” and “Ignite,” and “Conquer,” to their lapel and I was supposed to enter the year with a “Hello, My Name is Paitence,” sticker posted up over my left boob? No gracias. I’ll wait for a better word.

But dammit if Patience isn’t patient (and persistent) with me. That mofo kept popping up everywhere for two weeks and slowly bringing me to my knees with acceptance. The night I knew I could no longer run from the big P, was on the tail end of a late night out with my best friend, who was visiting me from Florida. After being out all night listening to live music, drinking, and dancing in downtown Nashville, we simultaneously felt a force beckoning us to take a step that felt natural, but also seemed a little wrong: stuffing our face with greasy pizza.

I shared our mission to score some after hours chow with a petty cab driver and he immediately said, “hop in.” As he pedaled us through the masses of bodies and cars that flooded Broadway, we were only 10 feet from the door of Luigi’s when two extremely inebriated men stumbled toward our metal rickshaw. They were babbling in an incoherent way that made it difficult to understand the message they were trying to relay. The exchange went something like this.

Drunk Fellas: Hey! You girls blobbity blah for the hoo man choo cha?

Us: OK. Sure. 

Drunk Fellas: Seriously, though. Hacka lacka me moo at one tin tonk tinkity. 

Us: Yeah. Mmm hmm. 

In a blink, three Metro police officers vaporized next to us and told the saucy gentlemen, “move along.” Drunk Fella #1 started on his unsteady way, but the other hung back. “Start walking,” one of the officers said to him. “Wait,” he insisted to the cop before turning back to us. The officers exchanged looks with one another and then with us. Drunk Fella #2 came right up to our petty cab, pointed his finger in my face and said “I have something to say to you: Patience.” His voice, which was a mouthful of nonsense just moments before, had become shockingly clear and articulate. And he spoke the Word that had be hounding me for weeks directly to my face. Message received.

If you want a to give your year a Word, here’s what you need to do.

Stay Open

Make sure you are willing to accept whatever comes your way. After you decide you want a Word, you’re sure to get one. And although it may not seem like it at first, the Word is here to serve you. Giving into that can be difficult — which should prove to you why it’s so crucial for you to have this particular Word. It may not be what you want, but it will always be what you need.

Ask For A Word

Then wait. The important thing is that you don’t force it. Just keep asking, “What’s my Word?” and sooner or later one will bubble to the surface. When that bad boy arrives, be grateful. Trust me, if you try to fight it you will end up being verbally accosted by a Drunk Fella.

Keep It Simple

Don’t go all over analytical on your Word and what it means and how you’re going to apply it to every aspect of your life. Let go and trust that your Word will be there for you every time you need it. Too much thinking slowly murders your Word.

Share It With Others

Even though having your very own special 2017 Word feels private, it’s important for you to share it with those you trust. This allows people to support you and point out times when your word applies. It also helps you encourage others to find their Word.

It’s Never Too Late

January isn’t the only time to add intention to your life, every day is an opportunity to dig your heels in and get serious about what you desire in life. If a Word helps guide you for a year, month, or week, it’s met the job description.

Do you have a word? Share it with us in the comments or on social media. Use #MyWordFor2017, or my usual faves, #ZenRenegade and #GetItGirl, so we can see your beautiful intention for this year. (And cheer you on!)



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