January 16, 2010

In Search of My Word

As I said in my last post, I just finished reading Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. Her book gave me a lot of "food for thought", but the most intriguing part for me was her search for her word.
Let me explain...
Elizabeth is talking to her Italian friend, Giulio, about how Roman woman are always dressed up and fancy, while she herself is not. He responds with, "Maybe you and Rome just have different words." He goes on to explain that, "If you could read people's thoughts as they were passing you on the streets of any given place, you would discover that most of them are thinking the same thought. Whatever that majority thought might be - that is the word of the city. And if your personal word does not match the word of the city, then you don't really belong there."
They go on to discuss the words of many cities, including Rome (sex), the Vatican (power), New York City (achieve), Los Angeles (succeed), Stockholm (conform), Naples (fight), before Giulio asks the ultimate question to Liz. "What's your word?"
She doesn't really figure it out until later in the book, so I will leave that for you to discover...however, I will say that this search for a personal word has inspired me to think of what my word might be.
What is my personal word? And does everyone just have one word for a lifetime? Or does your word change overtime? Is my word what I truly want it to be? Am I proud of the word that describes me?
I wish I could end this post with some sort of fabulous insight into how I discovered my word, but I really don't think I have. For awhile, I thought my word could be travel. However, travel doesn't really describe all of me, it just describes me right now. When Allison was here we discussed this and she thinks my word could be commitment. Which I am not entirely opposed to, as I do tend to commit to things whole-heartedly and then stick with them...it just doesn't feel like the perfect choice. Most people who have spent significant time with might toss out the word sarcasm in reference to me, but I don't think I am content with that as my life word either. So, in summary...the search continues.
I did however, do some thinking about other words. I think Colombia's word is prove. Fair or not, Colombia has something to prove to the world after a difficult history, and their efforts are quite apparent. Cali's word is most definitely salsa. Salsa rules this city - the culture, the language, the music, the bars, everything! Minnesota's word might be recreation...or un-complicated. Both seem to describe my home state quite well.
So...now the obvious question...what's your word?
Happy thinking!

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