I’m a bit of a test nerd. I think I’ve mentioned that before. I love questions. Seriously. I love asking them, love thinking about them, love answering them — well, as long as they have nothing to do with math. So when my new Twitter friend Cecile told me she had a bunch of questions for me about my blog, I was like, “Sure! Bring ‘em on!”
So she sent me a few questions by email, and I was all “Hah! Watch me answer these in record time!” - like the NERD that I am… And then I read the first one, and was shockingly stumped.
Who are you?? Honestly, how does one answer that? What does it even mean???
I considered writing down what I do for work, but then my work is not who I am. My job is barely the tip of the iceberg of what makes me ME. In fact, half the people who know me have no idea what my day job even is.
Then I thought about listing my achievements - but scratched that idea too. That’s what I’ve DONE, not who I am.
Then I thought “Oh ok, I’ll explain my relationships to people she knows so she can “place” me and have some sort of reference…” But nope. That wouldn’t work either.
Our relationships with other people don’t necessarily tell anyone anything about who we really are. When you identify yourself as someone’s wife or mom or college buddy or whatever, that’s more about the other person, not about you. It just makes you a supporting character in someone else’s lifetime movie.
So OMG. So stumped. What makes me ME? Who the hell am I??? Geez, I’m in my forties! (Early forties, mind you. But still…a bit old for an identity crisis, right?)
And then it hit me… Maybe that’s it. The age thing. It’s not that I don’t know who I am. The problem is that I am so many things that I can’t possibly summarize them all in one simple description.
The older we get, the more we become. We’re no longer the kids/teenagers/budding idealistic young whatevers we used to be, but all those people we were in the past are still in there, part of the complex but fascinating mix that makes up who we are now.
The more people we meet, the more roles we take on. The longer we live, the more we achieve, the more challenges we face, and the more we learn to do. So whether you’re the type of person who bases your identity on your work or achievements or your relationships, you’ll probably find that your definition of yourself will always keep changing.
And you know what? That’s a pretty wonderful thing, if you really think about it.
So in the end, to keep it simple I just said that I was a storyteller, because I guess that’s the one thing about me that’s present in all the different aspects of my life. And it’s probably the one thing that will never really change.
The stories will vary and multiply over time, but I’m pretty sure I’ll always want to tell them.
What about you? If you had to answer the question “Who are you?” — what would you say right now? It’s something worth thinking about, even if your answer might be completely different in a couple of years.
Happy pondering, folks. And YAY! Friday! Enjoy. :)