Who am I?

 

That’s a loaded question—how can a few words describe the totality of my heart, the lives I have touched, the struggles I face, or my most heartfelt dreams?  And yet I think it can be a useful, if not eye-opening, experience to try out a few labels and appreciate how many different roles a single human being can encompass.  

If we’re going to have an honest, meaningful dialog about creating our best lives, then taking the time to meet one another where we are right now seems the best place to start.  I’m eager to connect with others who are looking for their place in the world and for their sense of purpose.   So let me start the conversation by giving you a few insights (in no particular order) into who I am…

 

1. I’m an aspiring writer and reader of speculative fiction.

Fantasy, in particular, captured my imagination early.  It helped that I had an awesome dad who read me fairy tales from my favorite collection every night before bed.  The same ones, over and over.  And he loved it…he was never too tired or put off at having to read The Seven Ravens or The Three Dwarfs in the Wood, night after night.  

As a teen, I got hooked into reading when I came across Marion Zimmer Bradley’s The Mists of Avalon.  I loved the Arthurian legends, but suddenly a new world awakened as I realized…maybe the women had a story of their own?!  While I tend to gravitate towards epic and secondary world fantasy, I also enjoy science fiction and even horror, especially if there are strong female characters.

My own journey as a writer is a complicated beast that I’m still working on.  It’s full of starts, stops, retreats, and surges.  In this blog, however, I’m not spinning tales about the conflict and risks of fictional characters.  Instead I’m focusing the lens of creativity and curiosity on my own life.   And asking you to do the same…  

 

2. I have the mind of a scientist and the heart of a poet.  

I’ve always had an analytical mind, and naturally gravitated towards the scientific fields in my education.  I’m particularly fascinated by looking at how things work—can something be broken down into a series of steps, or a process, that can be reliably repeated?  

My love for literature, though, is fueled by the emotional responses that the written word has the power to evoke.  Fear, Suspense, Love, Loss, Justice, and Redemption are all themes that resonate for me.  I want to reach the end of my life and feel like I’ve truly lived, with joy and passion and vibrancy.

While it might seem that these two states are incompatible, I choose to see them as complimentary.  Longing to let go of a life filled with numbed-out days, I’ve decided to systematically create space for true feeling by asking some questions.  Can you imagine what a well-crafted question might open up in your life?

 

3. I’m a martial artist.

I’ve always had a fascination with martial arts…for their beauty, their power, and their effectiveness in kicking some serious butt in a bad situation.  For years, the regular practice of karate brought my life into balance in a way that I wasn’t able to achieve by other means.  It’s only as I got older and more injury-prone that I’ve had to step back from that art. 

Physicality has always been a challenge for me—I tend to live more in my head than in my body.  But achieving grace and strength through kata (movement-based forms) centers me in the middle of life’s chaos.  It forces me to be present and connect to my physical self.  So I’m looking into other disciplines, like Tai Chi, to keep me grounded while my life swirls with questions.

 

4. I’m a mother.  

I have two beautiful, funny, and compassionate daughters, and I fully admit I’m only marginally responsible for that.  Now that both of them are finally teens, I realize that while I’ve done my best to show them how to live from their Authentic Self, the best lessons have come from my failures.

I’ve lost my cool, failed to listen, maintained unreasonable expectations, and sometimes pushed too hard.  So I’ve learned to apologize, to change my mind, to try different approaches, and most importantly to make sure that my love is always given unconditionally.  I’m still a work-in-progress mom, and I’ll probably be polishing my skills even after they leave the house.  But I want them to know that they can make mistakes as a grown-up without having to judge or shame themselves for being human.

 

5. I’m a questioner, a lover of wisdom.

I’m tired of trying to keep up the appearance of having all the answers.  Wouldn’t it be easier to just start asking more questions?  I think that somewhere in between the request for wisdom and the daily actions we take to shape our lives, there exists space for quiet acceptance.  That the answers aren’t out there somewhere, but rather within ourselves.  It just takes a bit of silence and a willingness to listen in order to experience the life that’s truly calling us.  

I haven’t studied the great minds of history, and I’m not here to argue philosophy.  I just know I’ve outgrown the need to be right about everything.  For now, I’m simply interested in learning more about who I am, and how to make my time here meaningful and filled with purpose.  I’d love to make it a conversation—to learn from the struggles and lessons of friends and fellow seekers.  

What about you?

 

Who are you?

Have you taken time recently to think about who you are beneath all of the surface-level labels we wear for other people?  It’s easy to hide behind expected norms—the polite stranger, the law-abiding citizen, the expected contributor, or the quip-ready small talker.  

Do you fill roles in life that are uniquely yours?  Are you a parent?  A child?  A professional?  An athlete?  An artist?  A lost soul?  A seeker?  What is it about these labels that you’re proud to inhabit, that fill you with unexpected joys or peaceful strength?

Do any of your roles feel restrictive, or not quite right?  Maybe it’s time to start asking questions, not just about how you present to the world, but about how you see the reflection in the mirror.  It’s never too late to reinvent yourself.  Or simply readjust your heading by a few degrees.  Sometimes the best place to start is with a question.

So head to the comments below and share something that helps us understand who you are.  And welcome to the journey of a thousand questions…  

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