Can I ask you a question? What defines YOU?
Today I wish to bring you some encouragement as I’ve been seeking it myself lately after being in a bit of a slump since last time I wrote. This whole just turning 26 thing has got me all frazzled. (Yes, my birthday was a few weeks ago.) I feel like the older I get, the faster time passes. I’m sure you all could relate. And the more time passes, the more I feel like I’m just not getting enough done. I’m not doing enough with my life. I could be doing this or that. Or those people over there have got more than me. Or those friends over there are married and have kids already and what do I have. I’m Just an office worker whose job is going absolutely no where fast. I have no kids. No husband. Barely just started a new relationship (I know – yippee!). But who knows when I’ll ever get married or buy a house or have some little rug rats to show for it all. I haven’t written a novel. Or travelled the globe. I haven’t even been out of the country, for Christ’s sake!
Life seems pretty bleak, doesn’t it? Well when you put it that way, sure it does. But when you truly take a hard look at yourself and your life and begin to dissect what truly defines you and makes up who you are, is it really that awful? Have you ever that that maybe the words and sentences you are telling yourself (as well as other people) aren’t really what describes who YOU truly are and what you are made up of.
Am I really just an office worker? Am I really just an unmarried woman in her mid-twenties who is barely just getting by? Am I really just someone who just got her heart broken by so many different tragedies at once and was barely holding on to her own sanity? Am I just an aspiring writer? Just an aspiring photographer? Just an aspiring chef?
How about you? Are you just a parent? Just a bank teller? Just a teacher? Are these titles and roles the things that define who we truly are at our core? When we describe ourselves as just something, we’re basically setting ourselves up to say we’re a bunch of nobodies. That we really don’t matter. That we’re all the same. While yes, we are all human beings and all have our place and roles in society that we must be a part of, it does not necessarily mean that these roles are what truly define WHO we are. We are not JUST anything. There is so much more that entails who we really are.
We all have different passions and exclusive qualities that truly define who we are. We carry with us many different inspirations that ignite our souls and form depth in our character. We have vast interests and hobbies and talents. We all are born with unique gifts that should not be overrun by the other definitions of our lives. These are the things that truly define who you are. Not your career. Not your status. Not your net worth. Not what titles you carry. Not who you date.
And yet we all seem to mistakenly think they do. One of my favorite writer’s, Jennifer Pastiloff, described it best in an article she wrote recently. She says, “many people equate their self worth with their career or status or bank account.” She goes further on to say how we’re all nobodies and somebodies.
“I’m somebody. You’re nobody. I’m nobody. You’re somebody. Newsflash: we are all somebody. The more we buy into that bullshit, the more we perpetuate the myth that our job defines us. That our fame defines us. That if the world knows us, we are worth knowing.” (Link)
But I think the key to feeling like a nobody or a somebody is in the way we choose to describe what defines us. If we describe ourselves as just an office worker, then of course we are going to feel like nobodies. We’re going to feel like we are nothing of importance, a dispensable human being who can easily be replaced because their job is nothing special. And then when the time comes when we feel like we want to do something creative, like writing a novel, we feel like we can’t do it, because we’re just an office worker and that’s a nobody and nobodies just don’t write books.
Am I right or am I right?!
There is no way for inspiration and creativity to flow if we are not allowing ourselves to be defined by what we truly are – which is people who are unique and full of passions and talents that are just bursting at the seams waiting to be released from within. Stop describing yourself as just a nobody. Begin telling yourself that you are somebody and somebody great at that!
I went to Whole Foods the other day and this random, sweet lady suddenly walked up to me and asked if I was a dancer that went to Art school with her son because I had looked so familiar. I told her she was mistaken and that I was not indeed a dancer. She then went on further to ask what I did do for a living because my look was so unique. My automatic response wanted to tell her how I was just an administrative assistant at an insurance company, but then I realized she viewed me as someone who wasn’t just average and ordinary. To her, I was giving off some sort of image that I was indeed somebody. Instead I gathered up this new found confidence she brought out in me and I told her that I was a writer and a photographer. She jumped for joy almost and stated excitedly that she “just knew it!” That I was an artist of some sort because I seemed to put off this creative energy. We spoke for a good half hour after that and I told her about my passions and what I was working on and she told me about her son and how he was pursuing acting. It was a great exchange between strangers.
But just that little tweak in my story of how I chose to describe who I was helped me feel like I really did matter. That I was more than just my job title. That I was a person full of passion and creativity and ideas. That I had talent. That I was gifted. That I truly AM a writer and an artist. Just because I may not be exactly where I want to be and have to keep a day job right now, does not mean I am not still allowed to be creative and pursue my passions and most importantly, define myself as an artist.
We kill creativity that way. We think that just because we don’t carry the status or money or fame that comes along with creative professions, it means that we are not allowed to define ourselves as creators. We are all creators in some way. Even if it may not be artistically, it may be some other gift we carry. Everything we do is an art form. The way we speak. The way we act. The interests we pursue. It is all art and creation. So just because you have a day job, doesn’t mean you should also quit your day dreams. Even if you were describing yourself as just a house wife or mother, it doesn’t mean you have to feel like that’s all you are. There is more to you. You are beautiful and passionate and loved and deserving of more.
Do not make the mistake of allowing your circumstances or daily obligations define who you truly are because you are made up of much, much more. Dig deep within you and find what ignites your soul. Find what motivates you. Find what inspires you to create and define yourself as such. You like to paint or even enjoy looking at paintings, then, BAM, you are an artist! You like to write, then write – even if it sucks, just spill your guts out onto paper! Keep moving forward. Keep pushing out of your comfort zone and releasing that creativity because it will enhance your life so much more if you can do that. We are all born with a need to express ourselves, so find that self expression.
You will begin to feel more confident and even love yourself more when you begin to describe yourself in a way that truly defines you rather than allowing everyday titles to cage your true talents.
Stay passionate and true to who you are. Love yourself enough to do that.
The Self Love Challenge: Discover what truly defines you and begin describing yourself as such to other people as well as yourself.
Writer/creator of The Self Love Challenge Blog
Check out my photo of last night’s sunset. Creation is so beautiful, isn’t it? I’m going to start putting in more personal photos to amp up this blog. Hopefully get some more followers and input from those already following. So don’t be shy! Also don’t forget to follow me on Facebook!