Word of the year. Something that has really caught on in recent years – I cannot remember it being a thing a decade ago? Back then, when I first started becoming aware of goals and purpose and growth, it felt like this whole self-discovery and self-improvement followed a very haphazard approach to something that should be more streamlined and intentional. So, when I first heard about this Word of the year-craze, I immediately fell in love. I was converted. And I have been doing it every year since then.
Over the years I have had words that centred around growth, Growth being the word I chose for 2020. And boy did I grow in that year! Just not in all the ways I expected or planned on growing. If only I had known what was coming at the beginning of that year… But that is the beauty of life – the unexpected usually ends up being even better than the initial plan.
Some of my other words were Focus, Enough, Family, Renew. It felt like I had already chosen all the good ones, so I was a bit stumped when I had to choose my word for 2021. It took me a while, mostly because it can’t just be a random word. It needs to be something that I genuinely want, something that I need, or something that will take me out of my comfort zone. After all the growth of last year, it also needed to be something that will help me keep the momentum and dig deeper into this self-discovery and strengthening journey I am on.
Then the word came to me. BLOOM. Although a bit cliched, it makes complete sense. 2020 was my year for growth, which included pulling out weeds in my life. I ditched anything that stood in my way, streamlined my life, worked on my joy. To continue with the gardening metaphor, I worked the soil and planted a few seeds, watering them, tending to them. Now it was time for them to grow, and to bloom.
If you look at the definition of BLOOM, it focusses a lot on “to become”. Blooming is a beautiful process of becoming, of changing. It is a state of thriving, impossible to achieve without roots or nourishment. Thank you 2020 for providing both. After the upheaval and pivoting of last year, this year is my year to live life in full bloom.
To bloom is to undergo a transformation. It requires patience, determination, and strength. It also requires you to face the fear of realising your potential, to strive to become more than you are, and in most cases more than you ever thought you could be. Within this process is limitless possibilities, only hurdled by your own self-awareness.
Often, we are more scared of being successful than what we are of failing. Failing can be excused, it can be explained. But success? That requires a completely different person to walk out on the other side. And that is scary. We fear the unknown. We fear the opinions of others. We fear the judgement of those who feel left behind. When we allow ourselves to bloom into this gorgeous mythical creature we were born to be, whom God created us to be, we have to face these fears and put them behind us. Difficult. Impossible? Only until it is done.
Last year, I walked out of a marriage, which meant leaving behind what I thought was financial security, a stable home for my kids, and a partnership. It took a year of grieving and changing and finding myself, and I am still not done. But I am in a place in my life where I can say that the most dangerous woman in the world, is one who likes herself. Not love, like. One who is at peace with who she is, what she wants and how she is prepared to get it. I think that is a lovely place to be, and one where I can bloom to my full beauty.
Some years are for growing, but this year, this year is for blooming. Do you pick a word of the year? And if you do, what is yours for 2021?