I just passed on my key to a good friend recently. Both of us have had a rather difficult year with deaths in our families, ended relationships, tough classes, illnesses, apartment problems and unemployment. Most of this packed in in just the last few months. She's stayed positive, but it can be very wearing.
I picked the word "Iron" for the key, thinking of a line Maya Angelou said at Coretta Scott King's funeral. She described her friend as a woman "born of flesh, and destined to become iron." I liked that she chose iron instead of "diamond" or "stone." All three of these are formed through intense fire or pressure, but only iron can CHANGE. Iron can continually go through fire and pressure and be remade, while still maintaining its strength and without losing substance. Diamond and stone are both strong and can also change their shape, but only by being chipped at away at, worn down, losing itself. It's important to be strong through tough times, but even more important to be adaptable. To be like iron.