My Word for 2023 is Community


My Word for 2023 is Community

When the clock struck twelve this year, something shifted. The past three years have been focused on internal growth. I could feel the sun burst through and realized this year was going to be bright and maybe take place outside. Mostly, external growth. My word for 2023 is community. Let me explain.

New years happen every year

I used to do New Years Resolutions. In college, I switched to bucket lists. In the pandemic, I switched to words. I can’t remember where I first saw this but I want to say I hear Mila Kunis talk about it in an interview once and the idea of choosing one word to describe the theme I was going for in the new year not only seemed more attainable but flexible as well. Words have always been there for me. They always come with different meanings. I like to pick one and let the year unveil different ways the word blooms throughout the year.

Last year, my word was abundance. I wanted to learn how to receive. While I have not mastered this skill, I do feel that the word took form in different ways. While I was learning to accept the blessings I had worked hard for, I also opened the door for others and witnessed enough abundance for everyone. It’s always your turn, remember? While I enjoyed the abundance of blessings last year (I guess you call me agent monica now), I also did a lot of growth through therapy.

This year, I think I’m ready to venture out and continue my growth externally. Here comes the sun? Sure. But more so in relationships and building community. What does that mean? I’m not quite sure yet. While the pandemic cleared the path for old friendships to come to an end, new ones have slowly started to appear on my path. I’m learning to pace myself and allow them to decide how they want to be in my life. It’s a weird kick ball change when you’re used to leading the way.

What community means to me

According to this extremely reliable Google search, the word community has two definitions:

  1. a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common.
  2. a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.

I think I’ve spent the majority of my life thinking that community merely meant “oh, we have a lot in common” or “I’m really enjoying this conversation!” Definition numero uno. I’d go to the dog park and have a great conversation about spirituality with someone and think this person is amazing! We live in the same place. We have something in common. We’re going deep. In hindsight, there was something missing. Something more consistent. Deeper. Dependable.

Last year, I drew this diagram thing in order to explain to my therapist what I was processing about the people who were in my life. It’s this concept of atmospheres or rings within my universe. I tend to automatically place people in my inner circle immediately. Old friends and even family members that seemed to drift in and out of my life like asteroids were planets to me around my sun. I realized I wasn’t really a planet to them, why were they so close to my sun?

(This diagram will go in a book one day.)

As I get older, I am gravitating towards the second definition. Are we on the same page about things? Are we pulling the same amount of weight? Am I doing all the work in this relationship? These are new questions I’m starting to ask myself when I meet new people. New boundaries that come with my growing definition of community.

Community takes time

One thing about me is I go all in. (It’s the Aries.) While a game of Monopoly or Mario Kart might highlight my competitive edge, I have a habit of thinking something that takes time to grow can be achieved in the same amount of time as a 3 lap race on Rainbow Road. I’m reminding myself that community is a big one. It’s going to take time to curate and build. Who I want in my community might not want to be in my inner circle. Guess what? That’s okay! Not everyone is going to stay in your lovely life forever.

So…won’t you join me? Take a breath as you walk step-by-step into the new year. While I’ll be focusing on cultivating consistent and balanced relationships, I hope your bucket lists or resolutions bring joy, love, and healing. Whatever the next step is towards finding your version of a lovely life, I hope you realize how lovely you are and that we need you in this world.

Cheers to community. We shall see how it goes!

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