Who I Am

Who Are You?

When asked this question, I think it’s human nature for us to think of our answer in terms of how we relate to other people. “I’m a wife. I’m a mother. I’m a grandmother.”

Or what we do for a living. “I’m a supervisor. I’m a shoe salesman. I’m a rocket scientist.”

But these are all just labels.

Generic labels are necessary. They quickly communicate a snapshot of who you are. When you describe yourself in labels people get a picture of you in their mind, accurate or not.

If someone tells you they are a grandmother or a rocket scientist, that conjures up certain images in your mind. But does that reflect who that individual person is? Probably not.

Maybe our hypothetical grandmother flies jet planes or our rocket scientist enjoys knitting by the fireplace.

Who Am I?

I’ve asked myself this question a lot in recent years.

What are my labels?

I am a woman. I am a daughter, but I am a daughter who lost her mother to cancer. I am a granddaughter, a niece, and a cousin. I am a friend.

I am not a wife. I am not a mom. I am not a sister or an aunt. For what it’s worth, I’m also not a rocket scientist. (If you’re curious, I’m a computer programmer/analyst).

Though I wouldn’t change a thing about how I’ve lived my life up to this point, depending on the day, I may be content or not with the labels that define me at the moment.

But, you know what I’ve finally realized?

I am more than my labels.

Here’s a better answer to the question of who I am.

I love classic movies.

I was a math major in college until I got to Calculus III, realized I hated it, skipped class for a week, hid out at a friend’s house watching soap operas and panicking about my future career path, finished the course, and switched majors to computer science.

I read, watch, and listen to everything I can get my hands on about the lives of women in World War II.

I either take way too long to plan something out or I make spur of the moment decisions.

A great hike on a great day this summer.
A great hike on a great day this summer.

I love nature. Especially trees.

Shelves full of books make me smile. Bookstore. Library. Random magazine pictures. The thought of all the knowledge, laughter, excitement, and stories hiding in the pages of those books makes me inordinately happy.

Cooking? Not really my thing.

I am a former athlete who now considers it an accomplishment when she walks over a mile without a side cramp or a knee going out.

Play me a song from the 1960s and there is a 99 percent chance I will know every word of the lyrics and a 100 percent chance my singing voice will make you cringe.

Having been in their shoes, I am always pleasant and respectful to restaurant workers. Working with the hungry public is not an easy job. That being said, I am an extremely picky eater who needs to be very specific with everything I order. Just call me Sally Albright.

I am a creature of habit.

I love pizza and dark chocolate.

Tonight the advice on my chocolate wrapper was, “You are exactly where you are supposed to be.”

If there is anything I’ve learned, it’s listen to your chocolate wrapper.

So, next time I think about what I am and what I am not I’m going to forget the labels.

Who Am I?



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