Word of the Year – an update

For 2011, I chose a word to represent my year. Freedom. My goal is to see freedom throughout various areas of my life. The Collective is one expression of freedom for me. It’s a new way of creating and building that I didn’t feel I had the opportunity to do before.

One of the things I’ve found about having a word of the year is to keep the concept at arm’s length. In other words, though you know what the word is (freedom for example), but you don’t have it plastered all over your walls. This way when something hits you concerning your word, it’s a whole new feeling of inspiration.


I was going through my past tweets about a week ago, when I came across one from Chase Jarvis. I don’t follow Chase closely, but I do pay attention to what he is up to. Here is his Tweet:

I never get sick of this…  the front flip off the house is pretty much the best thing ever

Then he added a link to a video. I clicked the link, which brought me to a video I’ve seen before of Danny MacAskill – in fact I posted it on the spa Blog (and now here) a few months ago. I watched it again.

As I watched, I just couldn’t turn it off. It gave me the same feeling as when I watched the first time. It reminded me of my childhood, riding my bike around my neighborhood. I could hardly jump off a ramp without falling over, but I sure did feel like I was Danny MacAskill ripping up the entire countryside when I rode.

This video is my picture of freedom. Open space. Boyish abandon. While I can’t ride my bike off of 15 foot walls or jump between buildings, I can live my life in the same way.

I can run and potentially fall. I can jump and possibly fail. Live a life of adventure.

As I wrote that, it dawned on me that freedom comes not in simply running (or running away). True freedom comes when we have built the ability to fail, and it not matter. As a 37-year-old, married, father of 4 kids who depend on me to be around (physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually) it’s different from a 19-year-old single man with no true responsibilities.

Without realizing it, the previous few years I was gaining the ability to be free to dream, create and grow. I’ve been responsible to finish and follow through on other projects and goals. I’ve built enough savings to help cover short-term shortage in funding.

Freedom is good.

More to come… 🙂

What about you? What is your word for the year? Share it below.

Do you have something to share with the photography community? An article on photography, business or life? If so we would love to publish it right here on The Collective. To enter your submission either visit the Submissions page or email your idea directly to The Collective.

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