Who are you?

Quite often, when writing a guest post or feature, I am asked to include a line or so about myself. It normally goes something like this:

Jo Middleton is a freelance writer, blogger and mum of two daughters, living in Bristol.

There we go. That’s me.

But is it?

Sometimes I want to argue ‘how can I possibly sum up all that I am in one sentence?’ but then part of me worries that if I were given a freer rein, that I wouldn’t know what to say.

In both a work and family context, we become pigeon-holed. When I think of myself as a child for instance, I think of myself as the clever, cheerful, slightly chubby one. It happens to us all. It gives others a way to define us, and can give us a sense of purpose and of who we are. As a parent, it’s inevitable at least in the early years that having a child becomes a massive part of your identity. It takes up so much time for a start – how could you possibly have time to be anything else?

Sometimes though, you stop and think about who you really are. What would I actually say about myself if I were given 2,500 words instead of 25?

It’s something I have been thinking about a lot lately, as I’ve been putting together my list of 40 things I want to do before I’m 40, and have come to the conclusion that I don’t really know. Instinctively I know I don’t want to swim with dolphins and that I’m not that fussed about bungee jumping, but it is much harder to decide upon things I actively do want to do, to pinpoint the things that really get me excited.

Dolphin

No thank you.

Then I wonder if this is something that many people ever really know. Yes there will always be exceptions – the animator who has been obsessively drawing cartoons since she was four, the surgeon with a burning desire to heal the sick – but how many of us ever discover an enduring passion like this? And does that matter, or is there enough thrill in the chase?

What are the things that define you? Have they changed as you’ve got older? What would go in your one line biography?

9 Comments

  1. 23 April, 2013 / 5:48 pm

    I just can not do a one line biography. I have tried and failed. I refuse to confirm, so I am a conventional non-conformist. I live toi live in the here and how and have learn that life is not about where you are going but where you are now. If you keep looking forward you will miss the things that are happening right here, right now!

    • admin
      25 April, 2013 / 10:53 am

      I love the idea of a ‘conventional non-conformist’ :-)

      I totally get what you mean about living in the moment, but for me personally I find I need to offset that with having short term goals and things to look forward to as well. I am terrible at long term planning though – probably why I have yet to get around to buying a house! Oopps.

  2. 23 April, 2013 / 6:17 pm

    I always get stumped by that whole “who are you” stuff, too. For awhile I was “the mommy of many and the wife of none” and for awhile I was a “mini-van driving academic armed with a laptop, lip-gloss and stroller” and now I’m just lost and kinda confused. hahaha…I’ll figure it out eventually :-) And something tells me you will, too!

    • admin
      25 April, 2013 / 10:57 am

      A mini-van driving lip gloss wearing academic sounds so cool! Maybe I need something quirkier. Perhaps I will try and come up with a line of biog that includes my collection of jugs in the shape of birds where the milk comes out of their beaks…

  3. Bee
    23 April, 2013 / 8:34 pm

    Ummm good question! I think who you are can depend on who you are with and the life role toy are in at the time, mother, teacher, wife etc. And at the moment all I am inspired to do is lie somewhere hot in the sun can that go on my list?! Bee x

    • admin
      25 April, 2013 / 10:57 am

      Yes, that sounds like a perfectly reasonable goal to me :-)

  4. 24 April, 2013 / 7:45 am

    This is why I started my blog! I realised how consumed you can become when you become a parent (not a bad thing) but when I went back to work I realised that I am a mummy but also so much more. I’ve got lots of hobbies and interests as well as my number one priority at the moment – my little man! :)

    • admin
      25 April, 2013 / 10:59 am

      Exactly! A blog is a great way to explore that other side of you.

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