Sunday, May 22, 2011

Who are you?

Finding ourselves...  it seems to be the popular thing for women in their 30s and 40s to do, doesn't it?  Men buy sportscars and date women they could have conceived.  We "find ourselves."  We all go on these quests to figure out who we are.  And before you think I'm criticizing this, I'm not.  Mere observation, here.

I think about how we identify ourselves.  You ask a man who they are, and in general, they will define themselves by their job.  You ask a woman, and they will define themselves by their relationships.  "I'm Joel's wife.  I'm Cathy's daughter.  I'm Casey,McKenzie, and Alicia's mom.  I'm Lisa's friend." Etc, etc.  I don't know that there is anything wrong in this either.  I just think that we go so long defining ourselves by the people in our lives and what we do for them that we lose a sense of who we would be without them.

I don't think the journey of figuring out who we are is a bad one.  But, it is a journey, isn't it?  For a long time, I've defined myself by what I am not enough of.  Not smart enough. Not pretty enough. Not sympathetic enough. Not kind enough.  Not strong enough. Not talented enough. Not compassionate enough.  Not positive enough. Not realistic enough.  Not ungullible enough.

I don't necessarily think that taking an honest inventory of your faults is a terribly awful thing.  I don't suppose you'd want to wallow there forever, but knowing the areas that you could do some work on can be beneficial.  But it seems to be a terrible way to define yourself too, doesn't it?  Not by what you are, but what you are not.

So you move on, and you start to take an honest inventory of who you actually ARE.  I find this hard to talk about, maybe not so hard to DO, but hard to talk about here.  Talking about your strengths, admitting that you're proud to be ________...  There's a public perception that this comes with a lack of humility.  And who wants to be known as that?

I don't know... just thinking...


  1. Oh yes! It's like saying you are beautiful. Everyone SAYS we should say that, but unless it's in the context of everyone saying it then someone is goign to come along and say, "What are you thinking???" Well, that's what we fear. But you know what, it's not humble to not say what we are. It's false humility and fear. It's okay to say you are beautiful, caring, amazing. (Though you notice I mixed adjectives in with past, current, and wishfull thinking.)

  2.'ve got me thinking also.

  3. I strongly think all you need to be is the best Joanne that you know how to be and still a work in progress. You are not who you were yesterday or will be tomorrow, you are who you are today.

  4. I love your blogs - it's like a calm space in chaos to think about important things, thanks for writing it!!

  5. Jo, I love your blogs. You can say so much with so less words. You make your point in such less space. I hope you know what I am talking about. Thank You for this one. I have been trying to get my own identity for a lot of years. I am tired of being known as someones daughter or etc., I want them to know me as me, Sandra (Sandy). I feel like I always get loss in the mix of things.


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