Thursday, December 27, 2012

Who Am I?

Why is this such a hard question to answer sometimes? If anyone knows this answer best, shouldn't it be me? Still, any time I'm asked to “tell me about yourself!,” my answer is something between an unintelligible stammer and a blank stare. Once I was asked to prepare an “elevator speech,” as an exercise to introduce myself and my career, including some marketing to benefit my organization. As much as the idea of using a casual greeting to directly plug in a marketing opportunity disgusts me, I can't help but appreciate the idea of preparing my introduction. But first, I have to answer that difficult question: Who am I?

I was born an American and a Texan. I guess this defines me to an extent, but I feel so different from my fellow Texans and Americans sometimes. Maybe it means my life isn't as challenging as it is for many people around the world. My being born into a white, middle-class family certainly contributes to this. These circumstances definitely shape me, but I don't think they define me.

I was raised in the Christian faith. A Church of Christ, to be specific. So I know all of the traditional church stories, I learned how to sing hymns from a young age, and I became comfortable inside a church building. Again, these things shaped me, but this time I think it goes another step. I wasn't just born into these things, I accepted them as part of me. I accepted the Christian faith and continued to be active in a church through college and into my adult life. Even more, I shaped my faith a little differently than my parents', and even became comfortable outside of the Church of Christ doctrine as I decided where exactly my faith led me.

Other parts of me had little to do with the family I was born into. I inherited a love for music, and was supported in learning to play piano, guitar, and percussion instruments throughout my school years. This love for music almost shaped my career, as I finished my first year of college as a Music Education major (see my upcoming post, My Character Paradox for details on this). While I don't play any instruments on a regular basis, my appreciation for music leads me to search for new and creative music in the pop scene, not to mention my enjoyment of our weekly musical worship service on Sunday mornings.

One thing that's all my own is the most important relationship in my life. Since I was 14, I have dated the same girl. We met at a school function, dated through all 4 years of High School, went off to college together, and were married during our college years. My wife and I have often shared our happiness that we met so young, that we were able to grow together during some of our most shaping years.

Thinking about all of these makes me feel more confident about my identity, but it makes me realize something else; the first things that come to mind about myself are often not these bedrock traits, rather they are the current events of my life. Whether it's my job, my home, or my choice of hobby, these short-term facets of my life seem to get my attention.

There is, however, one current event in my life that I hope will stay with me for the rest of my days. My wife and I, after 4 years of trying to start a family the natural way, are pursuing adoption. For the last year of my life, this event has consumed a large part of my identity. From deciding to pursue adoption over fertility treatments, to choosing the best adoption agency for us, to trimming the budget month after month to save up the huge amount of medical and legal fees associated with an adoption, rarely a day goes by that I don't think about it. Our pursuit of adoption has brought us closer and closer, until now, when we're so close to starting our home study that we've begun to collect baby supplies and plan our nursery.

With all of this in mind, I guess this is how I would introduce myself.

I'm a happily married Christian from Texas. I've always had a love for music, I spend my free time training for distance running events, and I can't want to bring home our first adopted child so I can share all the things I love with him or her.

But enough about me, tell me a little about yourself!


PS - I'm planning to publish new posts on Mondays and Thursdays.  Add me to your reader if you want to see new posts as they're published!

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