What Word Describes You?

“I am just a slippery antevasin—betwixt and between, a student on the ever-shifting border near the wonderful, scary forest of the new.” (Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat Pray Love.)

People are complex. I was recently asked, via a social networking site, to describe my best friend using a single word. I couldn’t do it. I think I used about seven, and still I didn’t feel that I’d captured every part of her. When I started trying to think of a word for myself, I got a headache. This made me think of a scene in Eat Pray Love: Elizabeth Gilbert is in Rome, and a friend explains to her that every city and every person has one word to describe them. Rome’s word, he says, is “sex.” The Vatican’s word is “power.” Gilbert is able to think of a word for New York (“achieve”) but has trouble coming up with one for herself. Later in the book, she finds this Sanskrit word: antevasin, meaning “one who lives at the border.”

Can you think of one word to describe and encompass yourself? Do you think this word will change as your life changes, or that it will stay the same your entire life? Do you want it to?

Marissa Stapley is a freelance writer, editor, and author who lives in Toronto. Her first novel, Saving the World (in Sensible Shoes) will be released by Key Porter Books in Spring 2011. www.marissastapley.com

61 Responses to What Word Describes You?

  1. jackie peterkin says:

    The word that would describe me would be a FREE SPIRIT. I thought it was odd when someone had said that is what I was. I sat back and thought about it and she was so right.
    I am not affraid of anything and find myself wanting to experience life to it’s fullest so when I’m not needed anymore then I pack up, give away my treasures and go. Be it finding a job in the paper in Iniuvik and they pay the ticket or just floating and finding where I am needed for now.
    Now that the babies don’t need me as they are all on their own, well I have way to much time on my hands and have that itch again. Time to go and experience live,love and laughter.
    God Bless

  2. Jeannine says:

    I think: “survivor” would be the word that would describe me. I’ve been through so much and I’m still here!!

  3. gracie says:

    free spirit.
    when i get an idea to do something or go somewhere i do exactly that until the next idea comes along.
    i live in the city living the artist lifestyle, on sets, makeup brush in hand making a living and then when ever i like i head to the country and spend summers fishing, drive to unknown states and towns and cities, stay in beautiful hotels and completely creepy motels.
    i do, go and be with who i want and when i want.

  4. Maddison says:

    THINKER – I think too much about everything, I always have a million things running through my head. I like to plan, predict, analyze, study, imagine.

  5. Jill says:

    Youthful. No matter how old I am, the difficulties I come across, or the stage I’m at in my life, I always find a way to laugh, have fun, and get a little silly with my friends and family.

  6. Meagan Dalby says:

    Rapturous: experiencing or manifesting ecstatic joy or delight.

    This describes me because I never let a moment pass me by without acknowledging the beauty, wonder and joy of life. Life is too short to not delight in every moment we have!

  7. Inge says:

    Ingenious is the word that best describes me. I once had to attend a work-related workshop with my boss and co-workers. The first exercise was to come with a word that incorporated our first name and that best described you. I was very pleased with my answer and have realized that I am very Ingenious when it comes to finding solutions to problems in my life.

  8. charlene says:

    I am a procrastinator

  9. Julie says:

    “Curious”–eager to know or learn something.

    I hope I never stop learning. There’s always something new to discover about the world or about myself.

  10. Lida says:

    Organized. It is hard to pick one word to describe yourself. Organized would be the closest to the way my brain operates. I am an organized thinker, down to earth.

  11. Lisa says:

    Over committed — been given added responsibilities at work when 2 people left the organization and been taking care of the home while my husband has been travelling for work.

  12. D. Lee says:

    Hard-working. Whatever I do, I do my best. I learned that when I have regrets, I feel horrible and miserable. Thats why I do my best at anything so I end up with little, or no regrets.
    Opportunities come by once, and fly away, so why not take a challenge?

  13. Julie Reinsburg says:

    The word that describes me RESILIENT!

  14. Sue Dickson says:

    Loving,hardworking, and commited…that’s me in a nutshelll…

  15. Marlene V. says:

    Determined — I don’t think it will change as I grow older. I will always be determined!!!

  16. Diane says:

    I am the ETERNAL OPTIMIST!! I have been through alot of things in my life and although it seems that life is a test, I still look for rainbows in life!

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