You see, Andi wrote this GENIUS post yesterday. About how every city has a Word. And so does every person.
My brain took off in a torrent of thought. Faster than I thought my synapses could fire, I thought, yesofcoursethat’sbrilliantwhat’smyword
And then! There was brain silence. So much so that I could hear the air moving through my teeny, tiny ear tube fuzz.
And then, the questions came pouring in. Why was the first word that popped into my head ‘fire’? Who do I think I am that that would be my word? And why is it so hard for me to claim my word? Because that’s really the issue. It feels pompous and egoful. Though, oddly, on Andi it seemed nothing short of vibrant and lifeful. Hmmm…
And then, I thought: This whole discussion is egoful. So is this blog—because I’m writing about me and my life and my writing and my experiences. Which, I suppose, makes sense because it’s my blog.
But, luckily, because all of you are egoful as well, you take everything that I say and you try it on your own brains/hearts/bodies/desires. I’m just The Gap, but you’re in the dressing room trying it all on for size—and finding the pieces that fit, kicking the ones that don’t to the side, even picking out some items that aren’t your style…but you’d like to see if you can pull off. (Maybe in the dark, maybe somewhere no one knows you, maybe in your own kitchen, maybe on your keyboard.)
But, I digress. And I have a word to suss out. Why, when I’m so, so, so full of words…can’t I find the one that defines me?
I wondered, what if I’m not just one word? What if I’m a phrase? A sentence? A paragraph? A poem? A blog post? A short story? A novel?
I started making a list of words. I wrote about ten down, but I just couldn’t claim any of them. I felt like now I was the one dressing up…in the Big & Tall men’s store. They didn’t fit right and didn’t feel like they were mine. (Though they smelled nice.)
So, I stared at my computer screen trying to pull it to me, I want it, you know. I really want my Word. My ‘Julie’ Word. And then that was the only word I could hear. My name. My favorite name. I’ve never met a Julie that didn’t fit the bill. There’s a certain something to us Julies. Just ask us.
And when I say it, JULIE, out loud. I can claim it. I get it. It fits. I’d be proud to wear it around my neck, on a t-shirt, tattooed on the inside of my wrist…I mean, it already surrounds me like that fuzzy glow around streetlights on wet nights. An amorphous halo.
Most people fill up their names. They become synonymous with them. To the point where you can’t imagine them being called anything else—often by the time they’re a few months old. A person’s name isn’t just what you call them. When you hear the name, your mind/eyes/heart/hands fill up with a ten-dimensional image.
And so, I searched the Worddom, and this is where I landed. My Word is Julie.
I did, however, take a poll of those that I love and that love me back. I asked them for their thoughts on my Word, and here’s what they had to say: determined, creative, passionate, trouble, unpredictable, aggressive, independent, appetite, compelling, vivacious, glowing.
‘Trouble’, ‘unpredictable’ and ‘aggressive’. Those words came from the mouth of my very own Mother—interestingly enough—since she also and originally gave me the Word that, in the end, I feel defines me best.
She saved ‘Julie’, kept it close—on her way to motherhood, then through the two sons that came first. She knew I was coming. She knew I would be Julie.
She thought, I’m sure at the time, when I came out all small and pink and loud from the get-go, that it would be that simple. “Julie!” She proclaimed. Apparently, she got a little more than she bargained for.
Well, at least more than one word…
Image credit: biphop
NOTE: I did not search far for this image, it came straight to me. Not only is it cosmically in honor of Andi, my favorite Francophile, but the translation couldn’t be more fitting. I knew that ‘mot’ means ‘word’ in French which is why I thrilled to find the image, but (here’s the good part), according to Andi and her French hubbie (and my online french/english dictionary), the definition of ‘mot’ on this paper is: “fit, like a glove that is returned’. If that’s not poetic bamboozlement, I don’t know what is…