Tuesday, August 31, 2010

One Word to Rule Them All


Jen, over at Denton Sanatorium, issued a challenge to her readers last week that intrigued me. Borrowing a concept from Eat, Pray, Love (a book which I have not read), she proposed that we all find the one word that defines us best. Today, she has done a rather impressive job of doing just that. I, on the other hand, am still struggling with the assignment.

Sometimes, when my mind is not clear on a subject, I can write myself into the answer. Historically, this has been a good way for me to cut through my layers and find what's most true. Sort of like peeling the onion, I guess, but using the keyboard and not the cutting board. You may consider this meandering post a final attempt to look beneath my outer edges and figure this one out. I'll begin by tracing my process to date.

The first word that came to my mind was mother, because that is the part of myself (and my experience) that I value most. Close on the heels of that thought came this one: writer. Because each of these represents only one component of who I am, however, I elected to look for words that could be applied more broadly. Almost immediately, creator and nurturer popped up for consideration. Nurturer went by the wayside pretty quickly, because it probably covers only about 3/4 of my nature (the "nice" part!), but I decided to hang on to creator, which is a quality that plays itself out in every aspect of my life. Having said that, it didn't seem quite specific enough to me as an individual. After all, we are all creators, if we allow ourselves to be.

So...I was still seeking. All of a sudden my mind turned to thinking about my mind (an exercise in self-absorption?) and how it works. Two words immediately leapt into my brain. Romantic realist. Sounds like a contradiction in terms, right? But it suits me to a T. I am both romantic as they come and a diehard realist. However, that's two words, isn't it?

Hmmmm. This was not going to be an easy task. Maybe I needed to try another angle. What was most important to me of all? Family, I answered. God. Okay. So how about believer? Or unifier? After all, I have built my life around what I believe, and everyone in my family insists that I am the "glue that holds us together." I do seem to find particular satisfaction in bringing people together and creating something unique and beautiful. (Oops, there's that other word again.) Am I still liking creator better?

Let's see. Perhaps I should spend more time with things others have said about me. I've been told I'm a good counselor, but that isn't a role I can necessarily embrace because I have to work so hard at keeping myself out of the way. (I'm a little too agenda-driven.) People have said I'm a catalyst in making things happen, but that's less true as I get older and my energy for combustion (heehee) wanes. I really love to evoke people's feelings...Is there such a thing as an evoker? (Feels like a bit of a stretch, doesn't it?) How about an anchor? I think members of my family might see me that way, but the Lord is my anchor, so I'm not sure I can claim that distinction independently. How about curious, then? Or impatient? I'm about as curious and impatient as they come. Except for when I'm not...

I think the layer is peeled, and I'm back almost to square one. Ironically, my word isn't as creative as I'd like it to be, seeing as how it's such a common characteristic. But it's the only one I can apply to every facet of myself, so I'll just go with it...

Creator. My word has to be creator. And I bring that creativity to every area of my life, as we all do. Every time I mother, nurture, read, write, think, work, speak, believe, learn, love, explore, counsel, unite, evoke, imagine, wonder, ponder or even sleep (hey, dreams count, right?), I am creating. I am even creative about the ways I misbehave, and there are more than a few, I'm afraid. (Arguing, interfering, grandstanding, over-functioning, avoiding...)

Yep, I own that word.

(and so do you)

=)

19 comments:

Jen West said...

You may certainly have that word. I would love to claim a part of it, but it doesn't feel right on me. I love to read what you offer to the world. I wander over occasionally, but it has been a while. Have a wonderful day!

gabe said...

That was one of the words I kept coming back too as well. . .

Thanks for putting all your thoughts down.. . I loved seeing how your mind works.

Jen is always making us think isn't she?

Jamie said...

I enjoyed this journey through your thought process. It was quite a journey for me as well. It's good to truly think and ponder on ourselves every once in a while, to question and consider.

I think your word choice is very fitting, I certainly enjoy what you create on this blog. Thanks for the reminder we are *all* creators-even those of us like me who don't feel like we are!

Lourie said...

What a wonderful word! I am still trying to figure mine out.

Momza said...

That so describes you, Sue!
You did good!
Mine was Passionate...which I embrace.

Anna M said...

ooh I love it.

that is a FANTASTIC word

Dixie Mom said...

Wow...that really is hard!! I for sure couldn't do that. But I agree that "creator" is the one word that best describes you.

Darlene said...

I loved your self analysis and you are dead right on all the words that you considered. You have just about the most well rounded personality of anyone I know. I think your final word is a good one, because you create in almost every aspect of your life....it is a good word. I could think of a lot of other words to describe you but I won't go into them here. A lot of them you did mention. Dick tells me he would like to get inside your mind to see how it works. He loved this post.

Jess said...

I think it suits you to a T, as well as romantic realist, nurturer, evoker...

I loved reading the evolution of your word, getting a glimpse into the mind of a genius I think.

paige said...

That was a great word journey. I love it! My word is restless. Seems negative, but I can make it positive. It's about making all of your personality traits work for you. :)

Cherie said...

I think that is definately a great word Sue.
That is a hard challenge - to define yourself in one word.
I like how you peeled away your layers like and onion.
You have definately given me some food for thought tonight.
I will have to see if I, too, can define myself.

jen said...

Oh, Sue. My friend. My creative, gifted, nurturing friend.
This was a fabulous post. I enjoyed your process. I felt the same way you did through this.
I actually talked to my mom today, and I think she may have pegged me better than I pegged myself. I may have to write an addendum.
Thanks for participating. I always love your perspective.
Glad you're my friend.

karen said...

Perfect word for you. Because you are creative in so many different ways. Great post.

Caroline of Salsa Pie said...

I love your word, Sue and I agree. You are a creator. Perfect choice!

Snarky Belle said...

So true! You are a creator, in every sense of the word. Thank you for creating such a beautiful place, where I can find you and learn from you. Love you my friend.

Amy said...

What a great word to describe yourself! And what a difficult assignment that would be. To sum myself up with one word. Hmmm. I will have to ponder this for a while.

Roger and LeAnn said...

Thanks so much for sharing that blog with us. I can relate. We had our daughter with four young girls live with us while her husband was in Iraq for 12 months. We learned so much about faith, prayer, patience, love and etc.
It was a great learning experience and we were so glad when he came home.
We found a Title of Liberty flag online. Just do a google search for it. It was inspired by the Moroni's Title of Liberty.
Hugs to you ! LeAnn

Jessica said...

That is a good word! Wish it could be mine. I have visited your blog a few times. You found me through Jen's blog a while ago and left me a very kind comment so I have been taking a peek every so often. Always entertaining!

Em said...

Sometimes I wonder if I have put too much of my identity in motherhood, but then I think about how I always felt that way, even before I had children. It's always been in my identity:-)

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