Ever do that exercise that asks you to “describe yourself in one word?”
What word would you choose?
For myself, I use:
tending to keep a firm hold of something; clinging or adhering closely.
"a tenacious grip"
firm, tight, fast, clinging; More
not readily relinquishing a position, principle, or course of action; determined.
"you're tenacious and you get at the truth"
persevering, persistent, determined, dogged, strong-willed, tireless, indefatigable, resolute, patient, unflagging, staunch, steadfast, untiring, unwavering, unswerving, unshakable, unyielding, insistent; More
persisting in existence; not easily dispelled.
"a tenacious local legend"
I started using tenacious as a word to describe myself after an old coach of mine had watched me play in a particularly hard bout. I remember jamming in that game and feeling like I had to fight for every inch of the track. That every inch earned was another point on the scoreboard. With every point game a little more respect as an athlete on the track, for all the hours of practice. Of training. Of preparation. After the game when he called me this, and I realized that was the type of athlete I wanted to be and the work ethic I wanted to have.
Even though this word was given to me as a compliment, I also started to think about words others give themselves.
Have you read Chrissy King’s “Words That Don’t Belong to Us” yet? If not, I highly recommend the read. Words are especially meaningful and charged in this climate. I have just begun scratch the surface of understanding the responsibility that is needed to understand the words and phrases that we use and what their true meanings are. Take the time today to think of a word or phrase in your vocabulary and see what it’s true origin is. Most phrases I have researched in American slang are deeply rooted in violent and oppressive history. Then take the time to acknowledge whether or not these words belong to you. Are you are part of the culture or population that it belongs to? Does its origin have a derogatory meaning to someone other than yourself? If not, do you have the right to own it?
It’s time to acknowledge the true meaning of words and how they define us. More importantly, how they define others.