44 Comments

  1. Fran

    I really enjoyed your thought-provoking posting. It caused me to ask myself exactly the question you continually asked. Who am I really?
    I remember walking out to the car the morning after I retired the first time and asking myself that very question. I couldn’t come up with an answer.
    I do know what I like to do, what kind of books I like to read, what kind of movies etc, but stripped of all the things you mention, it is difficult to say who you are beyond just providing descriptions.
    I will be thinking about this for awhile.

    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Fran. I think it is helpful to know yourself in terms of what motivates you, your strengths, and your vulnerabilities; but there’s always a danger of over-identifying with impermanent feelings, thoughts, or sensations. Sometimes I have to remind myself to just “be” without worrying about labels or over-thinking things.

  2. Hi, Christie – I love your very thoughtful answer to the question that you pose. When I first began reading, it reminded me of piece by Canadian Humourist, Stephen Leacock (Tales of a Super Soul). It caused me to go and look it up again. Thanks for the nostalgic reminder!
    Congratulations on your progress with your eight-week transformation challenge. Your perseverance has been paying off. Well done!

    • I haven’t heard of Stephen Leacock, but I’m going to look him up. Thanks for the encouragement. I’m curious to see what the final scan shows, but if nothing else I’ve picked up some healthier eating habits.

  3. I’m sure I will be thinking about this post all day Christie. Who am I? I’m really not sure. But heading towards retirement I’ve been doing a lot of thinking along these lines lately.

  4. Wow, what a thought-provoking piece. To the question of Who am I, I would answer the same kinds of things you said you would. Minus insurance exec and runner. More a jogger, over here. I guess all of those things and our feelings, our body, our mind,our spirit define us. Or attempt to! I am trying to do things out of my comfort zone for a bit so that I can’t be as easily defined or labeled or stereotyped. Turning 60 has me reaching for new experiences. XO

    • Truth be told, I’m a jogger too, Leslie, but runner sounds so much more impressive. 🙂 This is such an amazing, scary, but thrilling time of life. I love hearing how your stretching yourself and trying new things.

  5. Hi Christie, first of all well done on your achievements this week – you’ve done more exercise than me in the last 7 days, and my lack has been bothering me – so I’m applauding you with much clapping from the sidelines 🙂 Interesting question: Who Am I? And one which perhaps as we get older becomes more prevalent because it starts to become entwined in, What legacy will I leave? Like you, I am many things and constantly changing or striving to be better.

    Cheers and Have a Great Week!
    Jo
    https://lifestylefifty.com

    • Thank you for the encouragement Jo. Though there are days when I’m not feeling it, for the most part, I truly enjoy the physical activity I do. The topic of “who am I” actually came up in a recent sangha gathering and I’ve been mulling over it since–not necessarily what the answer is, but whether the question can be answered at all.

  6. Cindy

    Christie, I read this first thing this morning and I’ll be honest, it kind of concerned me. I started asking my self the same questions (answering many of them similarly to you) and I thought “oh no-then who am I ?!?”. Then I thought about prisoners of war who were reduced to just a number or a statistic, but they were still people with thoughts, emotions, hope and stregnth. I’m glad we don’t have to answer that question and can just “be”. I love you sis!

    • I love you too, Cindy. You hit on the exact point I was trying to make–all of these trappings aren’t “who” we are, and who we are is constantly changing anyway. Our thoughts, emotions, and actions matter, but none of them by themselves define us.

  7. You have made me think Christie and I love that. I wouldn’t really know how to explain who I am but I do like your final thoughts that we should go with the flow and not really be defined by anything. Life changes all the time and so do we. Good for you in saving your treat for something more special than the donut! Thank you for sharing and linking up at #MLSTL. It is lovely of you to support the link up but I always enjoy your posts so it is a double win for me. Have a beautiful week, my friend xx

    • Thank you Sue. Sometimes I ramble on, without any real answers, but the goal is to get people thinking about their own personal answers. You know how much I love the #MLSTL link-up. Thank you. Thank you.

  8. I enjoyed your post Christie, but I’m not sure it’s possible to separate out all those aspects of ourselves from who we “are”. The things about us, the things we do, enjoy, love; what we feel, how we respond – those things are who we are. I’m a mother and a stepmother, and because of those two things, I’m a different person to who I would have been if I’d never had those experiences in my life. In my second marriage I’m a different wife, I’ve learned and grown and changed – who I am. Because I work in disability I’m more aware, more tolerant, more compassionate. But if my yardstick is Jesus, then am I kind? Am I tolerant? Am I compassionate? I’m certainly more aware of my sin! I love all these questions, because I really want to keep growing and changing. Thanks for your thought-provoking post xx

    • Thank you Sue for your thoughtful response. I agree that everything we say and do and all of our experiences combine to make us who we are. The challenge is that we tend to define ourselves by something that is impermanent or that can be taken away from us. And too often it’s the negative we focus on. I’m lazy or I’m so dumb or I have no willpower. For a person like me that tends to overthink, it’s good to remind myself that I can just be. I don’t have to have it all figured out.

  9. Congrats, Christie, on your continued success with the 8-week transformation challenge. I’ve become more pragmatic as I get older. I choose not to over think or over analyze about who I am.

  10. Oh Christie you have captured my thinking lately. Who am I indeed? Why do I blog? What am I doing? So many questions!! I am simply me, a mixture of all those bits that make up my personality, the things you see plus the bits you don’t see. I must say I like being me most of the time. Life is always interesting! Thanks for your thought provoking post 😊

  11. I love that being retired has given me the flexibility of being more than my job. Not that I was ever just that but questions like “who are you?” require a much more nuanced answer. Or, maybe better than an answer, it requires more showing than telling. I am so many things and, hopefully, will continue to become more things… and I will shed a few me’s I no longer want to be.

    • Yes, we keep growing, changing, and learning, which is what makes each phase of life so exciting. And it also makes the question, “Who am I” less relevant, because who you are is constantly evolving.

  12. That is a hard question. I am a different person to different people but who I am to me I am not really sure. I think the most important thing I am is a child of the most high God.

    • It’s true. We play a lot of different roles in relation to the people in our lives, and I’m referring not only to the positions we hold, but also how we feel (and even behave) different in the presence of the various people and circumstances in our lives. Yet none of those roles completely defines who we are–and even combined they don’t equal our total selves. We may have a new role tomorrow or let one of the old roles go. Certainly we’ll learn new things, rethink old beliefs. As someone who tends to get caught up in my head at times, a little less thinking and a little more being is in order. Thanks for joining the conversation.

  13. I’ve been trying to work out who I am for about five years now Christie! lol I really enjoyed your post. It makes me feel better at not really being able to get a handle on who I am at all as yet. I have learnt what I enjoy and like to do. I know some of my main personality traits – good and bad. But to really drill down and know who I am without labels is not an easy thing to do at all!

    • Hello Min and welcome. I was so happy to find your blog recently. It appears we are going on a similar journey,and it’s always good to have company along the way.

      Perhaps knowing what you enjoy and understanding your personality traits is enough in terms of knowing yourself. Maybe we can never know exactly who we are, because who we are is always changing. I think that’s a good thing. It makes the journey more interesting. 🙂

  14. I think Midlife has definitely been a time of re-defining myself Christie – all the roles that were who I was have gradually dropped away or changed. I think I’d almost lost myself myself there for a while, but blogging and all the fantastic women I’ve met along the way have helped me like myself for just being “Me” and I will be forever grateful for that.

    • I couldn’t agree more Leanne. I started blogging as a creative outlet and an opportunity to recalculate my internal GPS. What I did not expect was the wonderful connections I’ve made or the wealth of wisdom and knowledge I was tapping into. I’m not being overdramatic when I say it has been life-changing. Thanks for being part of that for me.

  15. Heidi

    As I think and think on this my puzzler is stumped. Maybe the idea is to give ourselves the freedom to not “be” anything and allow ourselves the fluidity to live without personal constraints. And maybe in doing so we live a fuller life…unless my constraints are the only thing that keeps me running through the streets naked with a bottle of wine in one hand and a donut in the other…..or is that where my true happiness lies?

    • Heidi

      In all seriousness though, I do believe my greatest depression and angst have been caused when I did not behave like the person I thought I was or should be. As I’ve learned to be kinder and more gentle with my own “failings” I’ve also learned to be kinder and more gentle with others.

    • First thing’s first, Heidi, which wine goes best with donuts? 🙂 Once we get that puzzle solved, we can move on to the fact that you managed to put into succinct words what I was reaching for when I wrote this–the freedom to not “be” anything and live without the constraints that labels put on us.

  16. Hi Christie, I read this post twice now and it’s made me think hard. (Second time via #MSTL)

    I’ve spent quite a bit of time trying to figure out who I am because I lost most of my identity when I retired. I was my job/career; it defined me. Even more than being a wife/daughter/friend. I spent a lot of time figuring out who/what I wasn’t but struggled with who/what I was. Maybe because my brain needs things labeled, I needed to come to some definition. Through self-reflection, I’ve learned that I am changing and I’ve learned bit of who I want to become. Still don’t have a label for it…but it’s hyphenated I’m sure. An active – foodie – word loving – blogger. It’s a start.

    • It is a fine line, isn’t it, of how much self-reflection is beneficial and when labels help or hurt. As I see it, the important thing is that you have left room for change and growth. I’m glad you’re finding your way and sharing it with us.

    • Coming up with an answer is where I was getting stuck. Then someone reminded me I don’t have to come up with an answer at all; I have the freedom to just “be!” Thank you for sharing, Dee.

  17. Lovely post where you so playfully asked such profound questions. Good luck with your weigh in – I hope you manage to keep the luncheons small and eat more vegetables than anything else. Sharing your post on my social media.

    • Thank you Kalpana. Tomorrow morning is the moment of truth as far as the challenge goes. Thankfully, we’ve determined that my body is not me, and I am more than a number on the scale. 🙂

  18. Very interesting post, something that I think we ask ourselves as we grow older. Something we ask when we are looking back at our lives, at where we have been and where we are now. Is it the story of who we described ourselves as being or does it tell a different tale. Who am I? Thought provoking, Christie!

  19. That question is a lot harder than it looks on the surface. I guess I am the sum total of life experiences. Then that keeps changing, so I keep changing, I hope for the better. Very thought provoking and good to ponder.
    Keep up the good work on your health, doing well!
    Kathleen
    Blogger’s Pit Stop

    • Thank you Kathleen. I think you described it well. The paradox is we are all our experiences, decisions, emotions, thoughts, and we are none of them. We just are, so we are free to just be. Thanks for hosting the Blogger’s Pit Stop. I love it!

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