In the latest issue of Chatelaine, one of Canada’s favourite women’s magazines, editor Jane Francisco challenged her readers to choose one word that sums up who they are and submit it to the magazine’s website to qualify for a prize. It could be an adjective, a verb or a noun. She chose evolving as her word.
I am a lover of words but that’s a tough assignment! How can I possibly sum up who I am in just one word? As I’ve pondered this question over the past couple of days, many possibilities have come to mind.
In my younger days, shy or introverted might have described me best but I’ve worked hard to overcome that. People are often surprised when I tell them what a timid child I was.
I readily admit to being stubborn though I much prefer to think of myself as determined . On a similar vein, as I worked away on the physiotherapy exercises that have recently brought renewed strength to my left knee, my husband often commented on my tenacity so perhaps tenacious is the word I’m looking for.
There are many words that I hope describe me. As a Christian striving to live a life of integrity, honest and faithful definitely come to mind. This afternoon we attended a funeral celebrating the life of a man who lived for almost 91 years. As his children, grandchildren and pastor paid tribute to him, one word came up over and over again. Fred was a godly man. How I would love to be described that way!
A few years ago, as I said good bye to someone I’d known for only a short while who lives a long distance away we hugged and he said, “You’re phenomenal! ” Wow! Though time has passed, that moment etched itself in my memory. The idea that someone could think that highly of me was quite overwhelming. It touched me so deeply that I still remember the roughness of his stubble against my cheek as we embraced.
Though I’ve retired from the profession, teacher is a word that still describes me. I also consider myself a learner, ever changing and growing but none of these words captures the entire essence of who I am.
Perhaps authentic or genuine come close. That’s one of the advantages that come with age. The older I get, the less I worry about what other people think of me. I’m free to be a little bit eccentric or even audacious.
The Bible tells me that I am “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14); that before I was born God knew me and set me apart (Jeremiah 1:5). After thinking and pondering over many different words, there’s my answer! It was staring me in the face all along. Like an individual snowflake, I am UNIQUE!
What would your one word be?