At my job, we have to select new passwords every sixty days. We use our passwords to access EVERYTHING, including our computers, the internet, our e-mail, our servers, and our database. Every password has to have at least seven figures, including one capital letter and two numbers.
Because I’m not great at remembering ANYTHING, much less a random assortment of numbers and letters, I’ve managed this past year and a half by selecting a word and then changing some of the vowels to numbers the way thirteen-year-old sk8tr girls do when selecting their AOL screennames. Zeros for Os, fours for As, ones for Is, and so on. I keep a list of my favorite words on a Post-It near my desk for this very purpose. The title is “Words I Love,” but a more apt title would be “Words I’ve Transformed into Passwords Over the Past 1.5 Years.”
Here’s the list:
Obviously, each word says much about what I was going through when I selected it, be it simply seasonal, as in the cases of “Sparrow” and “Garland,” or personal, as in the cases of “Besotted” and “Yearning.” Whenever the time comes to change my password again, I think about where I was when in life to be so struck by a word that I decided it would be the word I’d type it in to my computer every single morning upon arrival at work.
Some of the words, of course, don’t really mean anything. I’ve been using “Boulevard” for the past couple months as a way to keep my mind off of the tyranny of life. And because it’s simply a lovely word to say. Try it with me: “Bool-uh-vahrd.” Beautiful.
Today the notice popped up that it’s time to change my password, so I sat and thought for a little while. And wouldn’t you know it, the first word to come to mind was: