That is a difficult question to answer. When my friend Shayn asked me, I was stumped. I didn’t even know where to begin. Who am I? Am I the sum of my present state? My past? My ideologies, my dogmas? Am I a product of how I was raised and by whom? Am I what I do for a living? Am I my hobbies? Do my friends help define me?
Let’s throw words at this, I said: I am funny, smart, curious, nervous, excited, philosophical, protective, warm, open-minded. I am a friend to a handful of people I admire. An acquaintance to many. I am a flawed daughter of flawed parents, a protective sister of a protective brother. An unknown to many. I am sheltered. I am careful and carefree.
But those words don’t add up to a whole person. I began to bucket.
What do I believe?
I believe that most of us have the capacity to be good. I believe in nature and nurture. I believe in evolution. I believe that religion is a man-made system designed so that tens of men could control thousands of men, and it’s gone terribly awry, but that some biblical principles have great value. For example, I believe we should “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” (Imagine how the world would be if we all lived by these words.) I believe that many people deserve a second chance. I believe in an eye for an eye, in some circumstances. I would believe in the death penalty as a severe but necessary punishment, if we had a better justice system, but we don’t, so I don’t.
What do I think?
I think we should stop striving to own/have more stuff and start striving to have/own more ideas. I think we should be better to our neighbours. I think those of us with a voice need to be the voice for those without. I think we need to think more, question more, and not accept rhetoric as dogma. I think if we threw our TVs out, we would have healthier, happier, better-educated, harmonious communities. I think our education system needs a complete overhaul. I think our political system needs a complete overhaul. I think our financial system needs a complete overhaul. I think we need to end all war – just put our guns down, take our hands out of the pockets of other countries and fix what’s broken in our own backyards.
What do I value?
Ingenuity. Tolerance. Independence. Interdependence. Moxie. Wherewithal.
Follow-through. Honesty. Understanding. Openness. Humour. Knowledge.
Originality. And whatever word describes letting people be who they are and
learning from them.
What are my fears?
I am terribly afraid of never amounting to anything. Of being forgotten. I fear that I am not good enough.
What are my goals?
I want to know more and be more and inspire others to know more and be more. I want to be content with what I have. To write for a living. To not worry about money. I want to travel. To develop deep relationships with a chosen few and have a myriad of fun, inspiring, smart people in my life. To be a healthy, wise-cracking old lady one day. I want to get over all my fears.
Gun to my head
This is all incomplete, of course. It’s a start. And it doesn’t really describe who I am in a clear fashion. Those of you who know me, will recognize me in what I’ve written but for those of you who don’t know me, this likely seems a collection of words that don’t add up to a real human being.
Gun to my head, I’d have to say I am a writer who questions everything and wants more than anything to fully experience life – my heart broken and healed, my mind blown and expanded, my words lost and found. I want to be able to look back and accept every decision I’ve made as part of the journey that led me to the rocking chair on the porch of the house that overlooks the field and mountains beyond. And I am someone who needs to leave this as an open-ended answer because I hope it changes as I change.
So, who are you?
Since Shayn asked me, I’ve been asking other people, and I have gotten two distinct reactions: intrigue and fear. Intrigue resulted in answers or at least attempts at answers. Fear resulted in silence and a quick topic change. What does this tell me? To keep asking this question. : )