Day 2 – Who am I?

“Human beings are not born once and for all on the day their mothers give birth to them. Life obliges them over and over again to give birth to themselves.” ― Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez

What is your “Who I Am” Statement?

Mother First. Wife Second. Daughter-Sister-Friend After. Rational Optimist. Nighttime Worrier. Broad-Spectrum Scientist. Big Picture Thinker. Critical Mind. Lazy Procrastinator. Impatient. Efficient Professional. Eternal Multitask-er. Voracious Bookworm. Creative Tinkerer. Atypical. Solo Player. Hermit. Starter-not-Finisher. Creative Problem-Solver. Food Lover. Amateur Cook. Fair Weather Hiker-Biker-Skier. Self-Conscious. Body Awkward. Queer. Contrary. Empathic. Intuitive. Debate Enthusiast. Confrontation Avoid-er. Facilitator. Appeaser. Wannabe Homesteader. Doomsday Prepper. Drama-Queen of the Small Stuff. Level-Headed Rock in Crisis. Fluctuating-ly Moody. Reluctant Leader. Independent. Competent. Coffee and Chocolate Addict. Indiscriminate Binge Watcher. Bedtime Resister. Imaginative Dreamer. Grounded Realist.

What are you passionate about?

Knowing & Understanding: New facts, concepts and insights. They can sweep me up to very high levels of intellectual excitation. It’s a wave I keep riding, often alone, for weeks or months. Focusing on details, adding more and more pieces to my mental board, identifying patterns, relationships and connections until finally, haphazardly, a big picture emerges in my mind’s eye, and everything becomes illuminated. The thrill of catching a glimpse of something wondrous about the universe, world, life or humanity, that only few are privy to.

Beauty: Tangibly in the shape of visuals, colors, textures, spacing, and form. Intangibly in the shape of words, narratives and stories. People who can capture, evoke or relay the essence of something in an image, painting, essay, poem or book, so others can witness and internalize it too.

What are your talents and strengths?

Intelligence. Empathy. Critical Thinking. Creativity.

What motivates you?

Autonomy & Mentorship: Being able to completely self-direct my activities, whilst receiving mentoring from those who have more knowledge, skill or competence at something that I aspire to.

Creating: Doing activities that result in the creation of something tangible that can be shared with others.

What activities are you drawn towards out of work?

Home-making: Anything that can improve or add to the family nest, including preparing healthy meals and snacks, our own vegetable patch, decorating the house or maintaining it (painting, high-pressure hosing, …), hunting down entertaining toys, games or activities, admin & finances, groceries, learning how to knit or sow … stuff that makes me feel like I am being a good mother and wife, and that would entitle me to proudly stand next to my mother and grandmother, who were excellent home-makers.

Devouring Content: Anything to feed my brain with stories, facts, reality stuff and which creates some alone time for myself, whether it’s reading, watching TV, social media, newspapers, radio.

Active Travel: Although we’ve not been able to do much of it these last few years, I still feel incredibly drawn towards active outdoorsy or cultural exploration of the world. I would gladly allocate any spare time or money on this once our kids are old enough to enjoy it with us. Anything from seeing the aurora borealis in Lapland, to glacier walking in Norway, Rafting the Colorado river, hiking up volcanoes, long cycle trips in the mountains or near a coastline, backpacking in British Columbia, Skiing in Finland, museums in Barcelona, culture and history in Berlin, …

What are the theme(s) of your life right now?

Defining my new Norm: I’ve lost myself a bit the last few years, for various reasons. Now that I am a parent, I feel the need to actively reassess who I am, what I stand for, what I aspire to and how to get there. The worst that can happen is that I keep the status quo, and that in a few years time, my story has become that of what I once used to be, or that my relationship breaks up because I’m merely a shadow of myself with little to give beyond the basic necessities, or that my son grows up to never see all that I truly am reflected in all my day-to-day actions and interactions with him. It’s not a smooth process, and I am my own worst enemy, but I feel a very strong sense of urgency about making this happen. It extends to things like my health, fitness, work, social relations, self-image, my role as a parent, my role as a wife, my individual identity, …