I love Ali Edwards' blog (see link to the right) -- she is a famous scrapbooker who wrote for Creating Keepsakes magazine for many years, and she designs digital scrapbooking images, and she has this awesome blog she uses to encourage others to live artistically. For the last few years, she's been encouraging her readers to select a "Word of the Year" at the start of each year -- basically a word to live by, a word that will kind of guide you and ground you throughout the year, a word that will perhaps remind you of what you think is important, a word that will give you focus.
Oddly enough, until now, I blew off selecting any such word of my own. It was one of those things that seemed like a nice idea but made more sense for other people, not me. You know what I mean? But this year, I gave the notion some thought when Ali challenged her blog readers to think about their word about a week or so ago. And I came up with my word...
Funnily enough, this wound up being the same word Ali herself chose, and for many of the same reasons I've chosen it. Overall, because telling stories is important to her, and I feel the same way. I also like how she talked about being more aware of the fact that she is a character in the story of her own life, and how she has threads in her story she might like to weave in another direction.
I've been a storyteller as long as I can remember. As a small child, I enjoyed hearing a good story, and eventually learned to tell a good story -- mainly in writing, but sometimes orally as well. I've had so many stories swimming around in my head for so many years. In college, I majored in Creative Writing and was sure I'd spend my life writing novels and stories... but doing that for a living turned out to be harder work than I expected, and I let the writing fall by the wayside. I've started and stopped and started again more novels than I really care to admit... okay, I think 4 at last count. And I've made countless scrapbook albums over the last several years with the intention of adding all this great storytelling to them, only to cave in to expedience and leave them as they are, lacking what they need to become real: the stories behind the photos.
And so part of the reason behind my word choice is inspiration, a reminder to tell the stories that I've promised to tell. That means finishing my unfinished scrapbooks. It means picking up my novels and working on them, eventually finishing them.
And the other part is to live the story of my life with a little more intention, a little more deliberation. Sometimes I think I am way too content to sit back and let things happen, rather than stepping up and making things happen. I would prefer to be the writer of my own story from this point forward, so I am going to make more things happen. I've noticed over the last few months that I've been more willing to do this in certain situations, and it's made life more magical, and a lot more fun. I can't sit by and let someone else control my destiny any longer. I'm going to write my own story, thank you very much.
I can't wait to see where this leads me. At the very least, it will lead me into a better mindset, one I've been heading toward for several months now. It's exciting.
Maybe on December 31st, I'll write a story here about what a great year we had, instead of being glad to see it go.