If a complete stranger asked “Who are you?,” how would you respond?
Would you respond with the roles that you play in life? Father, daughter, best friend, grandmother…
Or would you identify with your job? Engineer, yoga teacher, housewife, scientist…
Or would you describe yourself by your hobbies? Reader, hiker, karaoke queen, amateur spelunker…
Or would you deflect the question entirely? Maybe by asking in return “Why do you want to know?”
“Who are you?” is a simple yet important question because the response to it is so revealing. It tells others what you value and whom you value. Don’t consider a person’s answer as all-encompassing but it is a starting point in getting to know him/her. And it is your starting point to begin defining who you are – what you consider important, what you believe in, what to discard and eventually how you want people to think of you. There is no right or wrong answer, of course, just hopefully the answer that best describes you. It’s worth thinking about if only to help shape future decisions. Essentially it’s about your life defining who you are rather than the other way around.
So do you have a ready response or does the question stymie you? Do you respond with candor or do you recoil and consider it an intrusion?
My mind reels a little when I think about my own response to that question. “A yogi” doesn’t begin to encompass all of my idiosyncrasies, my obsessive need for efficiency, or my hatred for all things cheerful. I’m not my job. I’m more than Warren’s wife. I’m more than a sister or a daughter. I’m more than my creepy collection of nesting dolls (okay, that one is a gray area). I’m even more than my bio on Twitter. So who the hell am I?
What I ultimately came up with is I am a flawed yogi on a journey – learning and loving as best as I can.
I feel the need to say something about my Russian nesting dolls but this isn’t a post about how to lose friends and alienate people. (That’s for another time.) I am also resisting the urge to tack on all the things that make me… well, ME – the fun, quirky things. In fact, the little voice inside my head right now is screaming, “For pete’s sake, please think I’m interesting! I’ll do anything!”
But I’m choosing to stand by that answer instead. Knowing that it is only the beginning and that my response will change over time.
I would love to know who you are right now… So I’m asking you, my dear friends, to think about and answer the question WHO ARE YOU?