Who are you? Have you ever asked yourself that question, and if so, what comes up? If you’re anything like me, it may go something like this:
ME: Who are you?
ME: I’m Viv.
ME: Yeah, but who are you?
ME: I’m a mother and a writer and a life coach. I love dogs and enjoy going for walks. I like hanging out with cool women. I’m into men.
ME: OK, so you’ve told me about the roles you play, what you do, and what you like, but let’s strip all of that away for a minute. That’s not actually who you are. Tell me again…who are you?
Who are you?
Truth be told, I don’t have an answer to that question. I’m knee-deep in discovery but will likely not be able to articulate a clear answer until I’ve left this earth. But I do know this: I am so much more than the physical manifestation of myself. I’m also starting to figure out who and what I am not, and I’m gaining clarity through this process of elimination.
Locate the self.
I run an online personal growth book club. Last October, we read a book of short stories by British author Zadie Smith entitled Grand Union. My favourite story in this collection (ultra-short, running at just 1 minute and 16 seconds on Audible) is entitled Locate the Self I. It opens like this:
Are you in your tote bag?
In the plants?
In the bad faith soda stream. Palestinian tears?
In your rug?
In the city’s half-assed attempt to recycle?
In your children? In your decision not to have children?
In your tribe?
In your kink?
In your place of employment?
In your wage packet?
In the likes, in the rejections, in your documentation?
In this sentence?
Did that blow your mind like it blew mine?
I’d love to hear where you stand with all of this.
Have you found a way to define who you are without resorting to it being the sum of your roles, behaviours, actions, and beliefs? If so, drop a comment below to help me and others navigate our way through the thick of this journey. If not, drop a note below, even if it’s just to tell me you think I’m overthinking. You wouldn’t be the first.
Viv for Today xo
Before you go …
I believe things happen for a reason. You landed on this page because you’re open to becoming a more authentic, fulfilled and self-aware human being. So am I. Let’s do this together. Before you leave, take a moment to sign up for MY WEEKLY NEWSLETTER so we can keep in touch.
So intangible and challenging to articulate and yet so well captured – as always.
I just love your blog!
It is in everything and in the spaces in between. Glad to be sharing this journey.
Thank you. I must give full credit to Zadie for capturing this so articulately, but I’m glad you enjoy my blog and am so happy to have you along for the ride❤️