My Word for the Year 2017—Dare

To dare:

  1. :  to be sufficiently courageous to <no one dared say a word> <she dare not let herself love — G. B. Shaw>
  2. : to have sufficient courage <try it if you dare>
  3. :  to challenge to perform an action especially as a proof of courage <dared him to jump>
  4. :to confront boldly : defy <dared the anger of his family>
  5. :  to have the courage to contend against, venture, or try <the actress dared a new interpretation of this classic role>

My word for 2017 has chosen me: DARE. I cannot begin to explain why this word keeps resonating with me because, if the truth be told, I am a coward. I am afraid of taking chances, making mistakes, and getting messy. But this year, I am going to try to channel my inner Ms. Frizzle (of Magic Schoolbus fame), and take some “dares.”

When I looked up the word, there are all kinds of grammatical notes with the word. it can be used as a verbal auxiliary, and a transitive verb, and as an intransitive verb. It can take direct and indirect objects, or not.

No matter, though, how the word is used grammatically as a verb or even as a noun, it means I have to step out of my comfort zones, take risks, and have the courage to do what I may not want to do. This is the year of being daring.

I am not sure where this word will take me. Last year, I allowed myself to abide in my mourning after losing my father in August 2015. I found myself this year “in a better place” at the end of the year. The mourning has lifted even though I still grieve for Daddy. This year, I could enjoy the holiday season without loss. Yes, I missed Daddy sitting at the table this year, but I didn’t want to throw Uncle Lee out for sitting in Daddy’s chair! I did break down when I visited his grave on Christmas Day, but I was able to smile when I told Mama that I had given a memorial to the church’s building fund. I could not do that last year. I needed to abide in the mourning.

This year, I will be daring. I’ll be sharing my dares throughout the year in this space. Tuesday night, one of the performers on the Kennedy Center Honors special sang “The Impossible Dream” as a tribute to President John F. Kennedy, for whom the arts center is named. This has always been a favorite song of mine, and I am going to claim it as my “anthem” for this year. (Click on the first line of the lyrics to hear Ed Ames sing this song!)

To dream the impossible dream 
To fight the unbeatable foe
To bear with unbearable sorrow
To run where the brave dare not go

To right the unrightable wrong
To love pure and chaste from afar
To try when your arms are too weary
To reach the unreachable star

This is my quest
To follow that star
No matter how hopeless
No matter how far

To fight for the right
Without question or pause
To be willing to march into Hell
For a heavenly cause

And I know if I’ll only be true
To this glorious quest
That my heart will lie peaceful and calm
When I’m laid to my rest

And the world will be better for this
That one man, scorned and covered with scars
Still strove with his last ounce of courage
To reach the unreachable star

By Olivia Fulmer

I am the OliviaIrene of OliviaIrene Photography. I am a photographer, a teacher, a story teller. I use this space to tell stories of life, family, and faith through words and images. I'd love to share your stories as well. Join me in this journey.

I love conversation, the close, intimate kind amongst friends. Won't you join me? I look forward to a good coze.

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