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My word for 2016 would be "Sparkle," except that I hate how that word sounds out loud. Sparkle. Sparkle. See? It's terrible. So then, I think my word may be
Yes, maybe panache.
When I was in high school, my friends used to say that you could always hear me coming down the hallway. My laugh always preceded me. In all my high school days, I received just one detention. It was for talking too much in study hall. I was bright and a touch loud and I had that joie de vivre that accompanies being young and blissfully unaware of true struggle.
The other day at work, a coworker commented that he always knew I was coming down the stairs when he'd hear the door open and close and then silence. He said I have the lightest footsteps and that he knew me by the lack of sound.
I spent so many of the last few years worried and tired and overwhelmed and anxious and heavy-hearted. So many years wondering if we'd just be okay. I don't regret these years. They've made me more resilient and sympathetic. They've filled me with compassion and a desire to work to fix some of the wrongs. These years made me a better listener and a compassionate friend. I remember how friends and family supported me on the darker nights and I am a better friend because of that. During the difficult days, my dad continually reminded me that these were times for character-building. And I am admittedly quite thankful for the positive ways in which this immigration process has strengthened me.
While our current phase of life is relatively unburdened, I know that there will be difficult days on the horizon and when those days come, I will face them with the resilience and strength that developed during this immigration process. But after years of making sure not to call attention to ourselves, I think I am ready for a bit more of that joie de vivre that I had when I was younger. And this time, it won't be the joy that accompanies blissful ignorance, but rather a joie de vivre that accompanies having passed through true adversity and come out on the other side.
Yes, I am hoping for a bit more panache for 2016. A touch more vivacity. And maybe even a bit of sparkle. But I do still detest the sound of that word.