Being free and being a woman. Writing. Motherhood. Photography. Watching the light change, looking at the stars. Drinking tea. Walking with my dogs. Watching our donkeys. Admiring colours and butterflies and rocks. Dreaming wildly. Walking barefoot, walking in high heals. Smoking the once every four years cigarette.
Fantasizing of running away with my husband, having some time for just the two of us. Thousands of things with my kids: singing, dancing, laughing, running, following bugs with them, reading to my kids, tickling them, being quiet and still, them in my arms.
My family. My children. My husband. And then, freedom. The nature. Love. Kindness. To see happiness and freedom in every living thing.
That’s what’s most important to me. All that defines me, in no particular order.
But do I really look for definitions?
I’ve had family and friends tell me what I am like. What my interests are or should be, what I’m good at, what I shouldn’t even try. Often it involves the word “too”, as in too much something. I’ve been said to be too posh, hence excluding certain things from the realms of possibility, such as living in the rugged countryside, haha! I’ve been told being too smart, too naive, too optimistic, too loud, too happy.
And I’ve been told what I’m not. From the strangest end: I’m not the kind who would in fix an old van, or an even older wooden boat – this at a time when I was the co-owner of both and in fact fixing them. Apparently I’m not the type to stay at home after having kids. And I’m not a mountain girl. I’m not the marrying type. I will never settle down.
I’ve been told things come easy to me. That I’m just riding a wave. That my life is so exciting – when in reality I’ve been in the midst of a difficult separation process. That my move to a new country and leaving friends behind is painless – when in reality all I wanted to do was to stay put and hold on to that life and those friends.
We’ve all been there, I suppose. Having other people define us or our lifestyle.
Closing or opening doors in front of us.
I recently turned 38, I’m not exactly a girl anymore. And yet I find new things on a weekly basis that interest me. I dream new dreams, I find new phenomenons that resonate with me. And I have friends in their 70’s that tell me the same. Isn’t that huge!
We are the products of our genes, our culture, and our circumstances. And according to different belief systems and philosophies there is the soul, and a god, a life force that affect us, mold us into what we are. I don’t know how it goes, but I know we change and shift endlessly.
I’m not just a woman, wife, mother, writer, gardener. And neither are you. There’s not one word to describe who and what we are.
Isn’t that beautiful? Isn’t it great that after growing up you’re not done? That you’ll never be.
I love it when someone much wiser than me tells me they’re beginners, they’re rookies. That they don’t know everything, especially the things they’re doing. That they are just learning.
I am, too, just learning here. Slowly. I’m changing. I am unfinished, and broken, and will never be completely fixed. And at that I am perfect. Just like you are. Just like everyone is.
Don’t let others define you. Don’t let your today define what comes tomorrow. Your abilities, your fears, your dreams even don’t define you. You are infinite, not definite – just learning, just a rookie, and beautiful and perfect at that.
By the way, I loved this TED Talk about identity – it’s not scientific, but it’s creative and to the point.