I've noticed that I've been thinking a lot lately about who I am. Not that I don't know I'm a mom, a co-worker, a wife, etc. But, I mean, who am I? What makes up my being? How am I defined? If asked, can I accurately describe myself?
As the caterpillar once inquired... "Whoooooo Rrrrrr Uuuuu?"
Side question- what's with Alice in Wonderland? Why did society ever approve the use of hookah-smoking caterpillars, drunken party-goers, glutenous walruses, and raging lunatics in children's movies?
Who am I?
Well, first there's the easy stuff. I'm a mom, a wife, a co-worker, a daughter, a sister, a Christian and soon, a student. At one time I had blond hair, I'm legally blind in one eye, and I've had more surgeries than I can count. But, does that really define me? I'm not sure...
A few weeks ago I tried to complete a simple questionnaire that asked about my hobbies. I sat, staring at the question, wondering what to write down. Hobbies? What are those? Do you mean like dressing, feeding, and carting children around; collapsing on the couch as soon as the kids are in bed; and trying to manage a household while still maintaining full-time working (outside of the home) mom status?
Or, do you mean something more like taking long walks, reading books, blogging, organizing photos, and playing piano? I know that at some point in my life I would have listed those as hobbies, but when does something go from being a hobby that I no longer have time for to being only a memory of something I used to like to do...when I had the time, energy and money?
Do my goals and aspirations define me? I hope to build a house some day (we even have the blue prints already); I plan to complete my Master's degree before Ryan finishes first grade; and I am excited about where my career path might lead me. Does that provide framework for defining who I am?
What about my interests? I'm interested in leadership opportunities, career development, and education. On the other hand, I also enjoy time with friends (never enough of that... I miss my friends!), growing beautiful flowers, and developing and nurturing my children. So, can I say that's who I am?
I am passionate about things like supporting the success of students of all ages and backgrounds, creating an environment that encourages meaningful worship at church, and providing knowledge and advice, both personal and professional, whenever possible. Even though I'm still struggling to fully define my passions, can I use them to define me?
I'm self-conscience about my weight. I fear that I'm always saying the wrong thing or making myself out to be a fool. I can't keep my house clean, weeds pulled, or my laundry done, and I hardly ever cook (my husband often makes our meals). My children, most likely, aren't being disciplined the way someone else thinks they should be, and I don't read to them as often as I should. I worry about our finances, wonder why we can't "keep up with the Jones" and feel anxious when we can't afford nicer things or contribute more money when asked. Sometimes I get upset over ridiculous things, I cry at just about everything, I feel like life is a competition and I'm not always winning, and I gossip. Can I leave these things off the list or must I also include them in what makes me, me?
I'm affiliated with one political party, but almost always vote for the other one. I'm not sure where I stand on several social issues. I have strong opinions about some things, but I very rarely disclose them. Because I'm "on the fence" can I use this information to describe me, or must I wait until I know how it all fits together?
I like fresh fruits and vegetables, but never eat enough of them. I prefer salty to sweet. I hate cheese, love meat, and enjoy an iced coffee every morning for breakfast. Does what I put into my body define my being?
I want to change the world, but do it quietly and loud. I want to start things, but once I'm started I wonder why I ever started and how I will ever finish. My body no longer belongs to me. It is often, instead, a vessel used to meet the needs of my children (Who cares if I feel like I might break a hip bending over to pick up a toy while holding my son? He wants the toy and I don't have time to put him down, so....).
I used to have hobbies. I can list some of my interests and goals and aspirations. I am passionate...sometimes. I have faults and defaults. My ideas and feelings occasionally waiver. I do not always recognize the person that I see in the mirror.
But, I suppose, that is who I am.