My 2019 Word of the Year
At the start of the year, I honestly didn't think I would even commit to a word of the year. Last year, my word was discipline. The rationale was that it was my first time being on my own after a long road of school and residency. This meant I needed to have the discipline to get my work done without preceptors watching my every move, but also the discipline to set work-life boundaries and create new habits of out-of-work mindfulness.
As a whole, it was accomplished but I honestly forgot by the second half of the year what word I had chosen. Because of this, I was hesitant to dedicate 2019 to a word.
I asked my Instagram audience what their word of the year was, and here were some of the awesome responses:
- Se Levanta
Also on Instagram Stories, I shared that I felt like I was pressured to pick something based on my whole social media bubble sharing theirs on beautiful bullet journal spreads. For me to pick one felt so forced, like I was joining a bandwagon movement, and that anything I picked would just be to feel like I belong but without the depth and substance that I seek for all of my personal initiatives.
But alas, once I felt like it was on my terms, it was as if it picked me.
The fact that I'm sharing this far into the year is relevant because you'll notice here I haven't said that I was "sorry" about it once throughout this whole article. I've embraced my truth and stood my ground as to why it was this way.
This leads me to the word... any guesses?
My word of 2019 is: unapologetic. So much hype for one word! But for me, it's not just a word it is a frame of mind.
As a woman, child of immigrants, person of color, short/quiet/get-things-done person, I have not grown up thinking that I should take much space at all. I'm the person who apologizes to the person who runs into me. I know that I'm not the only one who is like this, which is why I am sharing my rationale with you all.
The toning down and re-evaluation of apologies is not to all of a sudden become a jerk with no remorse. It is to unlearn so much of what society and patriarchy has engrained to make me believe about myself, my value, my rights.
A few places I will be re-considering my apologies (to start):
One of my first articles that was noticed by media sites was about things I learned when I stopped apologizing for needing solitude (syndicated on ShineText). I wrote the article nearly a year ago and I'm still grappling with the feelings of guilt at saying no to social engagements, or making my partner feel like I don't care about him when I need some space. The main shift has been the concept of putting your own oxygen mask first, and it helps re-frame the conversation.
What Reese said.
Not apologizing will be a work in progress. Eventually, the habit shift and new mental default will be a huge step in my agency and empowerment for years to come.
Thank you for your patience and time as I found my way. We may be almost at the end of Q1 2019, but as I re-charged from the end of 2018 I'm now ready to move forward, unapologetically.