Who am I?
This a question I have been considering for some time, and some of the things I was considering came into focus as I was preparing my biography for use here at Vision and Verb. It occurred to me that the words that most readily come to mind/mouth/fingertips about ourselves in fact describe our relationships with others, such as partner, lover, carer, friend and so on. These descriptions are not wrong precisely, they just feel incomplete. Am I the same person in all of these relationships? Well, no. Does this mean that some of them are false? I hope not. So I started to think about the me who underpins my relationships with other people. Essentially the me who lives alone deep in my head and heart. The pieces of me that always exist regardless of my relationships with other people.
I am an Australian, but not always a proud one. Our current legislation relating to asylum seekers and same sex marriages makes me ashamed and angry in equal measure.
I am passionately committed to social justice. This leads me to both despair and to rejoice. Interestingly the despair often stems from the actions (or inactivity) of large groups like employers, companies, some religions, some countries. I rejoice more often at the actions of individuals or smaller groups. I do what I can to promote and further social justice, and regret that I cannot do more.
I appreciate beauty in its myriad forms regardless of whether it is man-made or natural.
I am an eclectic reader, an obsessive gardener and a thinker.
I am insatiably curious about a very wide range of things.
I am endlessly fascinated by people, but don't always like them.
I am an introvert.
I laugh a lot, and often at myself.
I am an optimistic pessimist, in that I hope for the best while expecting (and preparing for) the worst.
I love cats, domestic and otherwise. I almost always share my life with at least one cat. I also love birds and encourage their presence in my yard. The cats spend very little time outside and the birds are safe from them.
I try and live my life ethically.
And no, I am not a goody two shoes. Are you familiar with the story of the two wolves constantly fighting within us? One of them is kind and generous and the other full of hate and spite. Which one wins? The one that is fed. I do try and only feed the good wolf, but have to admit to some slip ups. More often than I would like.
My list of the things that define me isn't a very long list. What else can I do? Am I a poet, a writer, a photographer? I don't know. Other people's belief in me is much stronger than my own, and I haven't properly explored what I can do. Which is sad and wrong. I know that for far too many years I have put caring for myself towards the back of the queue. What opportunities to develop and better express myself have I let slip? Can they be retrieved? I hope so. I really hope so.
What about you? Who do you care for first, and are you as kind to yourself as you are to others?
And, on an entirely different note thank you Ginnie and thank you Marcie for inviting me to join this group of talented collaborators. And a big thank you to all of you who were so kind and welcoming when my guest post appeared.