Who are you?
What if I asked you this question. In my living room on a cozy evening. You’d look down at the steam coming up from your coffee and you’d sigh. You might say, “I am a wife/mother/divorcee/single woman/daughter/business person…” even if you didn’t say those words exactly, I’d be able to tell based on what you talked about. Based on what you held as most important. Based on what you made jokes about falling short from and what you humbly took a little credit for.
So I’d say, “No. Who are YOU?”
If none of those roles existed. If you didn’t have children living at home, if you didn’t have a partner, if you didn’t have a career, if you didn’t have a safe box to place yourself in.
Maybe if you asked me the same question, here is what I would say. I would say that only recently have I begun to learn who I am. To stop hating it, to accept it, and to embrace it. I would tell you that my personality type makes up less than 1% of the population. I used to resent that. But now, rather than try to “fit” with culture, I try to change it.
I’d tell you that I’d rather have one genuine relationship than a thousand surface-level ones. That I want to see everyone live life to their fullest potential and offer their unique onlyness to the world.
I would tell you that I pour myself into my relationships but do not define myself by them. That my first and deepest relationship is with my Creator and that I create in order to feel closest to Him. I would tell you that I am a day-dreamer who loves to look at, create, and appreciate beauty in all its forms.
Then I’d probably sprinkle in a few quirks and fun facts, like that I’m always at 0 or 100– Today I’ll either watch Netflix all day OR change the world– And that I’m a reformed grammar snob because I hate the way education and language are used to promote classism. Also, I cannot handle Regina Spektor or Minions and do not understand why people pay $6 for avacado toast and then brag about it.
Then I’d look down at my own coffee, after pouring out my heart, and I’d wait for your response. Because no matter how much I grow in my own self-acceptance I will still care what you think about me.
But that’s just it, isn’t it? We are made to live in community. So let’s give each other permission to be okay with ourselves.
Self Portrait, Summer 2016.