I don't know who I am anymore.
I used to be that girl who was very driven to make my dreams come true. I wanted to move to Dallas. Check! I wanted to be a singer. Check! I wanted to go back to college and study information technology. Check! I wanted to graduate cum laude. Check! I wanted to have a great job, travel, swim the Great Barrier Reef. Check! Check! Check! I wanted to get married, build a big house, have children. Check! Check! Check!
Then little by little, those things faded. I stopped singing because I had children. I was laid off and became a stay at home mom. I got divorced. I moved out of the big house.
I felt like I was floating in space with nothing to hold on to.
Slowly those goals started reappearing: I wanted to buy my own house and get my girls in good schools. I wanted to do a triathlon.
Every time I set a goal, I accomplished it. I'm hard headed that way. Now it is January 2010. I feel like I'm expected to have a goal and I just.... DON'T.
So, Saturday morning, I asked my Facebook and Twitter friends, "Who am I?"
Here were the responses:
You are what you do.
You are T; friend, mother, daughter, sister, confidant, lover, healer, helper, blogger, etc, etc, etc.
You are you!!
my blogging sister friend!
U are a beautiful woman that makes my "big brother" very happy!!! And for that I say thank u & love u!!!! (from a friend of Gentleman Jack's)
A Crazy Freaky Hottie - geaux saints! (yes, I have *always* been a Saints fan.)
And Jack's response was:
My girl, my angel, my love! Single mother of 2 beautiful brilliant girls and hard working IT professional. Friend, athlete, counselor. Fantastic Lover!
All of these responses were amazing, supportive and sweet. But then came the response I wasn't expecting:
Be careful. If you don't decide who you are, other people will decide for you.
And that was the crux of the entire question: Who am I to me?
I had to sit with that a while. I know that I am very flexible in relationships with people. I will generally find a way to like what someone else likes. I will find interest in another's interests. I will start a hobby or activity that I'd never done before because of a relationship.
Some consider that weakness. Maybe I'm redefining myself because of those around me and I don't intrinsically know who *I* am.
But on the contrary, I've realized that I do!
I am a person who lives authentically. I am honest. I am FEELING. I don't have warm feelings - when I feel, I FEEL all the way. Sometimes those feelings make me extremely happy and sometimes those feelings make me very sad. I don't hate. I love. Extremely deeply. I am empathetic. I care about others. I forgive. I am introspective, intuitive and sensitive. I choose to keep learning. I want to inspire. I feel inspired to teach what I need to learn.
That is WHO I AM.
Am I a triathlete? Am I a college graduate? Am I a single mom? Am I a singer? Am I a homeowner? Am I any or all of those things?
Sure, I am perceived that way by many people. But those things are not the "me" that always has been and always will be. I may choose not to do another triathlon. I may not use my college degree. I will always be a mother but I may not always be single and my children will grow up. I may or may not sing in a band again.
Maybe that's why I can be so flexible about all of those things. Because all of those things are only temporary things that I do - not who I am. Those things will fade.
Apparently, I'm pretty good at playing chameleon with those around me. I refuse to limit myself to what I *do* or *don't* do. My identity isn't tied to that.
I will always be that feeling, forgiving, loving, honest, authentic me. No goal or absence of a goal will take away that part of me. That is the part of me that is real.
My strength is in my ability to continue growing and loving.
And I can move mountains with THAT kind of strength.
Bring it on.