Misha Crews

Stories from the heart. Books that feel like home.

For several years, I had the pleasure of sharing a blog with some wonderful ladies from Washington Romance Writers. The blog was called The Rockville 8. A couple years ago, when we all found ourselves getting pulled in different directions, the blog became too much to keep up, so we decided to take a hiatus. One of the things that I miss from that blogging experience was that every December we would each pick a word that would define us for the coming year. Well, this year we decided to reunite to do a new post for 2019. There is a nice symmetry with the words we chose, and you can read all about them here.

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My word of the year, 2019: Through

gray bridge and trees

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Why This Word: A few months ago, I was very despondent. I was far from home, far from family, and life was not looking quite as sparkly as usual (which is quite a bit of an understatement). Suddenly, my sadness was overtaken by this thought: Wow, I am really going through something. And if I’m going through it, then at some point I will come out the other side.

Why This Year: At the end of August 2018, my mother passed away very suddenly. That loss is one which can never be reversed. Although I do believe in an afterlife and I know we will see each other again, I will be without her for the rest of this lifetime. And to put it poetically, that just sucks big time. The adjustment period after this bereavement is a major part of what I have been going through.

I looked up the origin of “through” (researching word origins is one of my favorite forms of therapy), and it comes from a Dutch word meaning “door,” which can be traced back even further, meaning “to cross over, pass through, overcome.” There is a peaceful resonance to the idea that I am passing through a door, crossing over stress and pain, and overcoming difficulty to reach calmer times. It feels like a truth that I can hold on to when life gets rough and stormy.

woman doing hand heart sign

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In the poem A Servant to Servants, Robert Frost writes, “The best way out is always through.” Well, sometimes it’s also the only way out. So, that’s what I’m going to do in 2019: move through my uncertainty and my grief, and reach the joyful and productive life that waits on the other side.

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We are all going through something: every one of us, every day. Whatever difficulties you might be experiencing yourself, my friend, I hope that you come through, too. Hugs and Happy New Year!

And so we come to the last day of 2018. Wow. This past year has been one of many changes (some good, some less so). In January I posted a quote from Hugh Laurie called  No Such Thing as Ready, in which I complained about being in a rut. And then I proceeded to launch myself out of that rut by moving across the country at the end of May. In August, I lost my mom, which is a hurt so deep I still haven’t been able to bring myself to write about it. (I will, but not yet.) And now here we are, at the end of December.

Anyway, my point is this: 2018 was a unique year, in ways both good and bad. And the thing that keeps echoing through my mind is this quote:

“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” – Helen Keller

But what the heck does that actually mean for those of us who are just average joes and joannes? To answer that question, I scoured the internet, source of all wisdom, and here’s what I came up with:

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To read the history of this quote, check out this link to Quote Investigator.

Adventure is “a bold, usually risky undertaking; hazardous action of uncertain outcome.” As the word developed, it originally meant “chance, accident, occurrence, event, happening,” and later came to mean “perilous undertaking” and “novel or exciting incident, remarkable occurrence in one’s life.”

Daring is “adventurous courage; boldness.” Its root word, dare, can be traced back to “courageous,” and later had the connotation of “to challenge or defy (someone), provoke to action.”

(Sources: Dictionary.com and Etymonline.com)

So how does all of that scholarly internet searching and summarization add up? Essentially (I guess) it means this: We either defy our own fears and preconceptions, go out and undertake some perilousness, or… well… or we don’t. And that will mean different things for each of us. Certainly, we all have our own concept of  what constitutes peril, and that concept will change for us during the course of our lifetimes.

For my part, I am trying to find balance between the east and west coasts, a search which mirrors the need for balance between security and adventure. I am still feeling out my place in the world. Maybe you are, too.

My wish for both of us in 2019 is that we continue to seek out new adventures, and summon the daring to meet whatever comes next. Shall we hold hands as we start? Okay, deep breath.

Ready?

And here… we… go…!

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