New Year, New Word

22 Jan


Yes, I do own and wear a Star Wars shirt.

If you’ve watched any television show with me EVER, I have:

1) Assigned you a character from the show

2) Assigned myself a character from the show

3) Assigned a character from the show to every important person in my life, complete with well-thought-out reasoning and personality analyses

You could say I like assigning things.

I thought this was normal until I was talking to a friend one day who had never done this. Like ever.

“Wait, so who is your Friends character?”

“I don’t know. I’ve never thought about it.”


I’ve been told before that this need to categorize is annoying. “Just watch the show! Not every character has to relate to your life!” I can’t help it. I love putting words to things. And just so you know, I’m a Ross.

In Eat, Pray, Love, The Great Elizabeth Gilbert does something similar–she assigns words to cities. She says:

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.

I adore this concept for a million reasons, but mainly because ever since I read Eat, Pray, Love I’ve been assigning words like crazy–to cities, events, people. And then at the end of the year, I assign a word to the year.

2012 my word was healing.

I didn’t know that at the time. I was just living life, trying to make it through, but at the end I could see it. I started 2012 broken and ended it…not.

What will my 2013 word be? I wish I knew in advance. I wish that someone would just say, “Hey Jill, your 2013 word will be mortgage!” or “Heads up, 2013 will be the year of the perfect hair.” Then I could plan for the sudden financial windfall that will enable me to buy a home or hang my life’s hopes on a haircut. How delightful would that be? Alas, I will have to wait and experience it as it happens. I’m bad at that.

I want my 2013 word to be “writer.” Can I say that? I’m always so embarrassed to admit that, but I’m getting better at owning up to it.

What was your word for 2012?

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9 Responses to “New Year, New Word”

  1. Mindy January 24, 2013 at 11:30 pm #

    I love that your word for 2012 was healing. So appropriate. Can you assign things words in retrospect? It seems like cheating. I can’t think of one for myself… “discover”? That might be a good one for last year. For 2013 I think, unfortunately, it’s “responsibility.” It had to catch up with me one day!

  2. Linnea Farnsworth January 27, 2013 at 9:40 pm #

    I need you to assign a word for my last year. I’m at a loss. It was all over the place. Also, I want a word in advance for 2013. I feel a lot of anxiety about the future…so maybe it’s just “anxiety”? Maybe I need to change it before we get too deep into the year so that doesn’t stick!

    • jillianlorraine February 6, 2013 at 10:50 pm #

      Linnea, I’m honored you think I’m worthy to assign you a word. It’s serious business. We should talk.

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