Thinking up my one word for 2019, a couple of words come to mind; focus, commitment and dedication. As I thought about all these words, I thought about the focused, dedicated people in my life and the places that focus, dedication and commitment have gotten them. I thought about the number of things I want to do and how I could achieve them all if I put my mind to it and focused on my goals. *insert inspirational speech here*.

I know who I am, and I know that I tend to imagine and drift off at times. I can be the perfect example of there but not present. It’s like when you drive to a destination, but don’t remember the journey. I know I am not the only one who has ever done this. Instead of having to change gears and pay attention to the drive, I’ve cashed in my *insert cool manual car here* and bought an automatic car instead, just so I can put the car in drive and go. Note to self, renew license this year.

Now, there is nothing wrong with an automatic car, but I do have a problem with not trying to enjoy or even feel the drive. However, focus alone isn’t going to get me there. Neither will dedication or commitment. Both of which I already have. All I’m doing now is searching for a way to put it all together. For a bit there, I thought my word for the year was stand up. Yes, I know that’s not one word and it’s almost unnecessary to add the word up after stand seeing as one cannot stand unless it’s in the upward direction. But, my way out of this, Yoruba. In Yoruba, the word dìde (pronounced didday (with more stress on the day) means stand up and it’s one word, not hyphenated. Standing up means a number of things to me.

But as great as the bilingual cop-out is, stand up just didn’t seem to be the right fit and it just doesn’t encompass everything I would like from 2019, and my track to a better me.Then, it hit me… ACTION.

This year I want Action. I want to take Action. I want to take part in my life. I want to be active physically, spiritually and mentally. I want to take action in my career, my relationships and everything in between. This means, I’ll be standing up more, focusing on getting things done, committing to making changes for the best and dedicating myself to constantly improve.

2019, the year of Action; the year I take action. Oh how great it sounds already.

My Year of Renewal

For so much of my life I have allowed myself to take responsibility for and feel emotions towards things that were never mine to hold in the first place. I’ve felt shame from others who so quickly hold me accountable for my failure to meet their standards, expectations, or desires. I’ve internalized shame by holding myself accountable for problems that were never my own. I’ve imagined myself as less that I am—to constantly compare myself in relation to other people.  Too frequently I’ve asked myself, Am I good enough for this? Am I good enough for them? I rarely settle in my enoughness, because I’ve been too busy wrestling with the person that I am. I’ve been fighting and clawing at myself to be everything other than who I was created to be. 

The focus of my story is not on past trauma—it is on everything that I am in spite of that: resilient, strong, courageous, brave, valuable, loved, and whole.  For too long I’ve let myself be shrouded in shame, afraid of what the imperfections and the challenges I have faced in life say about me.  The reality is that I can be broken, but I cannot be destroyed. Bravely confronting the dark and rejecting false responsibility is how I create space for my personal healing and growth. Renewal is my battle cry.

This year, I am becoming what I already am but sometimes fail to see. I am extending myself the love that I give to others. Renewal is the revitalization of myself and my life after the last year. It is a renewal of how I view and treat myself, a renewal of my faith, a renewal of my freedom, my power, and my courage. The villain in my story was not anyone or anything that brought me pain, it was my belief in the lie that anything or anyone could make me less than who I am.

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