At the stroke of midnight on 2013, I posted this on my different social media accounts: Happy new year everyone! 2013 is the year of the brave!
One of my online friends asked me, What do you mean by “year of the brave”? Well, friend, here’s your answer.
In 2012, I decided to choose a word for my year in hopes of battling my quarter-life emptiness that hit me a few days into the year. I chose a word because I was honestly grasping at straws, and I want my life to point to some kind of direction. I chose love not because I was desperate to have a word, any word — in fact, I had a lot of choices, but it was love that jumped out at me and I stuck to it, and tried to live it out. They say a word is a powerful thing and it can change a lot. Perhaps they were right, because when I look back at 2012, I think it was filled with love, coming from expected and unexpected places. And like I said in my recap post, I think 2012 was the year where I learned so much about love (and trust, and heart, and all that).
When December rolled around, I started thinking of a word that I will claim for 2013. I was toying on the word trust, because I also learned so much about it in 2012, so why not just take that and run away with it, right?
But there was another word that kept poking at me, that kept dancing around the edges, stepping across the line and looking at me boldly, as if daring me to declare it as my word. I resisted at first. To be brutally honest, I was scared of that word. It was an ironic reaction, given that the word is essentially the opposite of being scared, but I. Was. Scared. Absolutely terrified.
I was letting my fears get ahead of me. But at the same time, I felt that I could not deny the hold that the word had on me. After everything that happened in 2012, after all the lessons I learned, I felt that I would be cheating myself if I chose another word. I felt that I would be taking the easy way out, and I didn’t want that. 2012 was a good year, and I felt that 2013 will be a good one, too. But I have to stand up and claim it. I have to be intentional about it.
So with a pounding heart and shaky knees and the air full of smoke from all the fireworks, I stood up on December 31, and declared: 2013 is the year of the brave.
My word for 2013 is COURAGE.
Courage, bravery. I’m scared because I don’t know if I can really live up to this word. It’s like what Morgan Freeman as God said in Evan Almighty — “When you ask God for patience, does He give you patience or opportunities to be patient?” I was scared that if I ask and claim for courage, I would be given just that: opportunities to be courageous, to be brave. Thinking about various situations where I would need courage is enough to make me cower and want to hide or run away. I don’t know if I’m ready for the breaking that can happen, for the things that I would have to face in this year when I stand up for that word.
I know, I know. I’m over thinking things again. I worry about things again, and I bet when I look at this entry by the end of 2013, I would chuckle and say that I worry too much. That maybe at the end of the year, I would look back, read this post and smile because I knew so little and yet I worried too much. Isn’t that always the case?
So. Courage. This is where the still, small voice comes and asks me again: Do you trust Me?
Yes, I do.
It looks like there’s really no escaping this, huh.
I leave you with Neil Gaiman’s New Year’s Wish, which pretty much affirmed my choice of word:
So this is my wish, a wish for me as much as it is a wish for you: in the world to come, let us be brave – let us walk into the dark without fear, and step into the unknown with smiles on our faces, even if we’re faking them.
And whatever happens to us, whatever we make, whatever we learn, let us take joy in it. We can find joy in the world if it’s joy we’re looking for, we can take joy in the act of creation.
So that is my wish for you, and for me. Bravery and joy.