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2023 Word of the Year

My Word of the Year is ROOT.

I know, you’re thinking, “Really? Claire buys into the word of the year BS?” And well, yes, I do.

I’ve done it for a while now. And as corny as it might seem, having a word to anchor into throughout the year has helped me stay on track with the goals I’ve laid out for myself.

This year I have chosen the word ROOT. It’s an ironic word for a long-term expat who seems to move every 3-5 years.

Maybe subconsciously I chose it because I long to root myself to a place. I’ll be honest, sometimes I do wish I was back home living a “normal” life where I don’t have to translate the take-out menu or have bouts of uber anxiety when preparing to talk to locals. Just because I’ve been an expat for years doesn’t mean living abroad is a breeze, even for the self-proclaimed expat coach. I’m just like everyone else – I’ve got to work at it every damn day.

Because you know I love a good flower metaphor… I think I chose ROOT due to the massive amount of growth being witnessed for the past few years. I’ve been cultivating beautiful blooms above ground (coaching and mentoring women, writing, publishing a book, and penning witty IG posts), but now it’s time to focus on what’s going to keep those flowers kicking ass for a long time to come.

I’ve done the work to call myself a coach and author, and now it’s time to dig deeper and sink into what it really means to embody those roles. I’m confident this stage of internal growth will make me better at what I love to do, but it won’t come with an enormous amount of effort. Over the past couple of years, I’ve been soaking up a massive amount of knowledge and doing things I’ve never done before – the term ‘baptism by fire’ comes to mind. In some ways, this is my jam – doing things that put me out of my comfort zone. But I think now is the time where I need to get comfortable with this new version of me so that the process can start over again.

The greatest part about rooting down is that my roots will go with me wherever I go. Whether I move to another country, move home, or stay exactly where I am right now. These roots are mine alone – they aren’t shared with another person, place, or thing, and they never have to stop maturing or be afraid of developing new off shoots.

So, here’s my theory…

Roots don’t have to just hold you in place, sometimes they help you break free from somewhere that’s gotten too snug… kinda like my jeans after the December holidays. It might be a bit of a cozy existence, but there’s no longer room for growth. I’m no gardener, but when a plant has outgrown its pot, I doubt the gardener contemplates cutting it off at its roots – they get a bigger pot.

That bigger pot is an opportunity to stretch, get comfortable again and prepare for the next best thing. It’s where you hone your genius, dream, and get creative about big ideas. Maybe it doesn’t look like productivity to the outside world, but there is a shit ton of work going on behind the scenes.

“The deep roots never doubt spring will come.” Marty Rubin

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