Wanting for Words

As you’ve probably noticed, I am rarely at a loss for words. For the record, I consider this both a wonderful gift and an occupational hazard. I also appreciate the irony that I’m posting this on what normally would be ‘Wordless Wednesday’.

Recently, however, a tale in the book that I can’t seem to put down has left me totally and completely at a loss for words. Or, more specifically, at a loss for a word. Here’s an excerpt:

… every city has a single word that defines it, that identifies most people who live there. If you could read people’s thoughts as they were passing you on the streets of any given place, you would discover that most of them are thinking the same thought. Whatever that majority thought might be–that is the word of the city. And if your personal word does not match the word of the city, then you don’t really belong there.
~Eat, Pray, Love (Yes, I’m still reading it or, more precisely, re-reading it.)

The writer goes on to explain that Rome’s word is SEX; the Vatican’s word is POWER (which I found terribly funny); New York City’s word is a verb, ACHIEVE; and her own personal word, for now, is probably SEEK or PLEASURE. Regardless, her word was not SEX, which she concluded was why she never felt at home in Rome … because Rome’s word “just bumps up against me and tumbles off, leaving no impact.”

I instantly related to this feeling. I’ve never really felt ‘right’ in Dallas. I feel more right here than I did in Plano, where we lived when we first moved back from Austin, but still I’ve never really felt like myself here. So, after reading this story, I proclaimed that my unease must be because my word does not match Dallas’s word, which I’ve concluded is something along the lines of VANITY, BIG, or possibly PETULANT. (Sorry fellow Dallasites, but we are the 7th angriest city in the country!)

Then, I began to wonder where I would fit in, which (of course) requires me to identify my own word, which leads us to today.

Over one week later, I am still b l a n k

It’s easy to think of words that you would like to be your word. For me, COMPASSION, GRACE, BLISS and DETERMINED came to mind quickly.

Truly examining yourself to identify your actual word – the one that you live day in and day out – is a whole other thing. Here’s a taste of (admittedly inconsistent) words that have come up as I engage in this little exercise: WORRY, SUCKER, SUCCEED, KIND, BALANCE, and PLEASE.

I’m not suggesting in any way that I’m proud of these words or that I think they accurately reflect me. In fact, with some of them, quite the opposite is true. But, the fact that these words came to mind (or were suggested to me) first has made this mini-journey of self-exploration all the more interesting.

Perhaps the most accurate word to describe me today is SEARCHING. I am searching to find ‘the’ place where I feel like I fit. I am searching to find the right balance for all the things I care most about in life. I am searching to make sure that life is headed in the direction where I want it to go.

Regardless, it’s a fun journey, and I’m so very grateful that you keep coming back to be a part of it.

Much love ~B


About Beth

Wife, daughter, big sis, aunt, friend, attorney, runner, cyclist, amateur chef & aspiring photographer. Thanks for keeping up with my life on the run!
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4 Responses to Wanting for Words

  1. brad says:

    Lets move to Rome?

  2. Chriseda says:

    I love EPL. That book actually ended up being very important to me becasue of the self exploration prompts (as you have discovered). I thought about my word too for a while. I think our words can change as we change, of course. Sometimes the words that come to my mind are in conflict in different parts of my life like CONTENT/RESTLESS or HUNGRY/SATISFIED. I don’t think that my word matches Dallas or the surrounding areas. I know that I am supposed to be in Austin and Boulder and that being here is primarily because of my children (proximity to their father) so maybe that is why I have conflict. I find it interresting that you recently named both places cities in a recent post and that I have pictures of Austin and Boulder on my dream board. Let me know if you find your word and I’ll let you know if I find mine.

    • Beth says:

      I’m glad to know that I’m not alone in finding this book so moving! It’s amazing how much I feel like I learn about myself by reading her experience. The Austin/Boulder connection is interesting, indeed. I’ll keep you posted on my word and quest to find the ‘right’ home base. 🙂

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