Every time it comes to the beginning of the year, I sit down and pick a word for the year. There’s something about it that brings clarity, focus, and forces me to not just make goals, but have a strong overarching vision for the year.
Last year the word I chose was brave. It was a brave year indeed. I did things I never thought I would do. I lent my heart to others and trusted again. I learned how to put myself out there and not be ashamed of who I was or how I was created. I did the hard work of learning to love myself, through and through, in every way. I had hard conversations, started new beginnings, and as a former nomad, always looking for the next thing, I decided to plant roots in a small town in Northern California.
This year the word that kept coming to mind was risk. Maybe for most it might seem like a synonym to brave, but I find it to be quite different. In order to be called brave by someone you have to actually risk something, to show courage and valor. You have to show up. I would have to step out of the ivory tower of safety and comfort that I so often construct in my heart, and come out. I have to risk being seen and be willing to love without fear. I would show up and interact, without allowing insecurities or doubts to hinder love. In life, this is something that takes tremendous choice and will. It’s something that takes risk.
As a creative, it’s daring to figure out what is true to you. Somedays I wish I had blogging buddies that I lived with, resident creatives that could ask me questions, shed clarity, and force me to focus my voice. Even as I write this post, I know there are hundreds of bloggers doing the exact same thing. Am I willing to risk doing what I love, creating unique and original items, knowing it may never catch on or set a trend? Am I willing to risk refusing to use Pantone colors of the year or feature 90s fashion on this space (because it reminds me of my childhood style and home where I loathed the way it looked)? Will I look past my inspiration fills, Pinterest pages, and Instagram feed, to discover the unique creativity that lies within?
Whether in work or life, there’s something about risk. Risking to be vulnerable, to be seen, to step up your creative game, and put something full of light and love out there for the world to see. Some will love it. Some will hate it but at the end of the day, it’s yours. It’s true to you and is something you love. This year will be full of risks for me. Places where I push myself to step out and show up.
Risk. Vulnerability. Loving well. It all comes down to choice.
What is your word for the year?