My son asked me the other day, “Who are you?” I’d just done something rather insane and idiotic so the question wasn’t meant to be philosophical, but it got me thinking. Who am I, really? Deep down. What makes me tick? So, like any writer would do, I got out a piece of paper and I wrote down the things that make me, well, me. The first five ‘things’ that spewed forth were:
- Animal lover
- Nut case
- Sentimental fool (hey, I cry over Mary Poppins and Edward Scissorhands)
That got me thinking: if I wrote these things down in this order, is this the value I place them in my life? Are these the primary building blocks that define me as a person? What about being a wife? That was like #12 on the list. It didn’t even make the top 10. What does that say about me? Am I condemned to Hell because my faith didn’t top #1? What about ‘being employed’? Am I bringing about bad financial juju because I’m content with working from home as a writer, even though I haven’t seen one cent from anything I’ve written?
Or am I over thinking? Is the placement irrelevant so long as the ‘defining things’ made the list? Or, wait. Here’s another question. Do I see myself as others see me? Would my list match my friend’s or family’s list? Better yet? What difference does it make? Am I defined by their list or mine? Both?
Oh my gosh, finding out who I am is like trying to map out a character in one of my novels…except worse. Geez, I mean, I can create them, mold them, make them be however I want them. I can’t do that with…
Wait. Hold the phone. Shut the front door. I just had a revelation. I’m a writer. Of course I can create me, mold me, make me however I want. What a doofus I am. It’s called free will, Jenny Minny. And why do I care how I appear on anyone else’s list? I’m not in charge of their opinions of me. That would involve gathering an army of minions. I don’t have the energy for that. All that matters is my own list. And here’s something else I learned. It doesn’t matter where any of the ‘things’ fall on my list, because they all make me who I am, and you know what that is? Special. And if you disagree with me, I’ll turn you into a character in my book. Let’s see how you like those apples.
What about you? Do you let others define you or do you define yourself? Do you have an army of minions I can borrow?