My “One Word 365” for 2013 is identity, and it’s time to check in for the spring. Though it’s technically not even spring yet, recent events beckon this post.
My one word for the year makes perfect sense given my upcoming little-holds-barred book. Also, the Indian name I received at camp last summer has taken over my blog, my life. My identity.
Traveling Golden Trout.
Since camp ended in August, I’ve been wearing this blue bracelet etched with my new name. It’s been as essential and standard to my daily wardrobe as socks, underwear, and the watch I’ve worn since my 18th birthday.
But then a few days ago, something happened. Something tragic.
I took off my bracelet for the night — and the bracelet snapped.
Right down the middle of my name.
I stared down at the limp strap of rubber in my palm and basically cried inside.
For seven long months, something that was so constant, so faithful, so indicative of my identity had suddenly failed me. Snapped without warning.
The next day — the first day in over half a year — my right wrist felt naked. Stripped. Bracelet-less and bare.
Yes, as a writer with an affinity for metaphor, I couldn’t help pondering my split bracelet the next couple days. Wondering what it “meant.”
Am I no longer Traveling Golden Trout? No longer meant to travel but called instead to stay in a single space, a single place?
Should I forget Korea?
Forget a return trip to camp in North Carolina?
Should I just stay put? Or am I meant to persist? To continue on my wandering way despite snapped bracelets, overwhelming relationships, attacks on my identity, and other struggles aplenty?
Or can I still hold true to this Traveling Golden Trout identity while seemingly paradoxically staying put?
When examining Scripture, you won’t find a man as attached to something so identity-driven as Samson and his hair. Dude was a stud, but in a moment of weakness he lost his hair, lost his strength, and his entire identity was shattered.
Split down the middle like a snapped rubbery bracelet.
And yet Samson persevered. Called out to the God He’d forsaken and — well, went out with a bang. Had his strength, his identity completely restored before his life was taken in the process.
After uploading my book’s video trailer last week, I felt affirmed. My lofty goals distinctly more materialized, my elaborate visions finally turning solid.
It was a bizarre feeling. Is.
On the one hand, I’m thrilled to be this close to publishing after years of striving. Yet on the other hand, I’m terrified. Terrified I won’t measure up to expectations. Won’t be nearly as “good” as I think and hope I am. That my identity as a writer, an author — a Christian — will be shattered.
And yet if I don’t follow through — if I don’t self-publish — I’m not holding true to my identity. Would be letting fear take the reins instead.
I refuse to let that happen. Let fear win.
Truthfully, I still have no idea what my summer and fall holds, but I know what’s happening this spring. Know precisely where my identity is winding despite the dread bubbling in my gut.
I will publish my first book this spring.
And I will strive onward. Split bracelet and all.
Question: How is your “One Word 365” shaping up after two months?