The first time I became aware of Ali Edwards’ One Little Word movement was in January 2016, which was smack in the middle of the worst year of my life. As Ali explains on her website, the idea of choosing “one little word” helps you to focus on something to live with, explore, and help you to gain inspiration and learn about yourself.
At the time, I absolutely loved the idea, but even thinking about trying to focus on yet another thing was exhausting. I’d just wrapped up what felt like eight months of failure, eight months of letting everyone down — especially myself.
I can’t focus on one more thing, I thought to myself. I can’t aim myself in any direction until my life isn’t in tailspin anymore.
The past several months have meant focusing on getting out of tailspin: a new job in my field, a new apartment, adjusting to finally having the life I wanted. With my ship finally sailing correctly, I think it’s time to look past living well right now and start thinking about living well in the future.
This year, my One Little Word is Determination. I have a reputation for this word already — it’s always been part of my general personality. But determination is something I feel like I lost in the year and a half after I finished graduate school. It’s always driven me to do something more, and I feel as if most of what I did in 2016 was out of desperation, not determination.
I don’t want to be driven by desperation for the rest of my life.
This year, I am determined to do many of the things I failed to do in 2016. Finish that book I started with my best friend. Create the resources I need to work on my own fiction projects. Mentor a young woman of color.
And most of all, I’m determined to become fully myself in ways I haven’t for more than a year.
What is your One Little Word this year?