The chair back digs under my arm as I squirm, ever so slightly. I sit at one of the closing discussions at the Blissdom Canada social media conference, surrounded by others, and am asked to think of a word that defines who I am, what I do. I am stymied. I stall and think while others toss out answers. Have I married who I am and what I do enough to find one word to encompass it all? I am unsure. But there are so many things I am sure of that I know unsure is not my word.
Later, I recount to a friend an experience that highlights my need for control in many areas of my life. It amuses me to suddenly see myself so clearly, as though I had wiped away steam from a mirror with my sleeve. Suddenly my reflection looks back at me, nearly winking at the trick. I know my need to control certain parts of my life and my surroundings is more than an understudy in my little play, yet I know just as clearly that some the areas of my life I cannot control offer me the most satisfaction. Control is not my word.
When I pause later to wonder what word I might choose as my own I consider all I do and my tendency to do more, think more, want more, miss sleep to accomplish more and wonder if it could be that simple. Perhaps my word is more. I want to do more, see more, be more. However, a voice inside that occasionally begs me to be still also whispers “less” and I know that more is not my word.
My mind hums. The evening wears on and we gather together to celebrate, to sing, dance, talk, laugh and embrace. Each time I see someone I have wanted to meet for so long I reach for them. We hug. When a favourite song comes on or too long has passed since I have seen someone I like so much, I reach out as she does for a hand, an arm and we are again close and sharing the moment in laughter and music.
Morning comes. I sit and try to think of all I want to write of the three days I have spent with intelligent, inspired women. I reach for the words to express how I feel about them, about the experience. I reach for ways to tell people how much it meant to me to meet them face to face. I am sad that I cannot reach out and hug them all one more time.
I am inspired by so many ideas and suggestions from everyone at the conference. I wonder how I will use them to reach others with my writing, reach more people. I realize that this is most what I want to do when I sit down and put words to paper…to reach others.
Reach. I realize that the word rolls easily around in my brain. To me it implies a reaching out to others, reaching for connection, reaching out to hold those I feel close to. I reach inside myself for nearly everything I need to make it through my days, and reach out to others when I need them. I reach for dreams that may be distant on the horizon, but that I know lay beyond any distance or fog that may exist. And I reach for happiness. Every time I am given the choice, I reach for joy.
My one word is reach.