When someone asks you who you are, how do you respond?
It’s a difficult question to answer, obviously. We’re all many things, depending on mood, circumstances, environment, and scores of other fluctuating internal and external influences. Whenever I’m asked to write a brief biography to tell people who I am – the blurb for this column, for example – I tend to stick to surface facts: “…a single mom, PhD dropout, prototypical Gen-Xer, and professional writer/editor.” All true, all accurate, and each element of that description of me is indeed somewhat telling. But the Name, Rank and Serial Number-ness of it all hardly comes close to the heart of things, the heart of me - now, or at any moment in time.
The interior of each of us is fluid and mysterious. Oftentimes words… simply fail.
Which is why I was drawn to my friend and fellow Babble Voices contributor Alli’s ‘I Am’ Project. In it, she’s asking women to send her an image, finishing the sentence “I am…”. Those are the only guidelines. It’s brilliant in its simplicity and open-endedness, leaving so much open to individual interpretation. It allows each person to decide what that image should be (an image of themselves? An object? A place? A loved one?), and how to frame it relative to themselves, to their selves.
This is a photo of me (on the right) and one of my closest friends in the world, Catherine. It was taken in August, on the night of the party MamaPop throws every year at BlogHer, Sparklecorn. It was one of the happiest nights of my life.
And I picked this image because my friends are hugely important to me, my happiness, and my sense of myself as a person. They are like family, and there’s nothing I wouldn’t do for them. That depth of feeling and the profound sense of loyalty I feel regarding those I love is a big part of who I am, a core part of my internal make up and character. This photo perfectly captures that. And though it’s just one facet of me, it’s an important one, one I felt was worth sharing.
And you? You should totally do this, too.
No, seriously. I double dog dare you! *throws down gauntlet*
Who are you? Will you tell me?
Read more from Tracey Gaughran-Perez at her personal blog Sweetney.com