This is a response to Self Development written by my wife Sarah. I read her post and thought that I should reflect on how I’ve grown since that conference many years ago.
I remember sitting there holding Ella and trying to think of things that I could say when it came time for me share one of my “identities.” The gentleman before me, even though we were told it was not an appropriate answer replied “provider.” Now this isn’t a proper response for this exercise and I’ll try to explain why.
The goal was to come up with 10 – 15 words that can describe us as individuals and while provider is a word that describes and individual it is not part of you that makes you an individual. It’s a role that is required in almost all households and because it’s a somewhat mandatory role it doesn’t define you as an individual, it is not something that has grown as part of you.
Now my answer, I believe, was “reader” I loved reading at the time I would devour any fantasy book you would put in front of me. However, part of the discussion was that our identities, just like our lives, are dynamic and I can’t really call myself a “reader” anymore. I haven’t read a book for myself in years, which makes me sad in a way and thinking about it I might go find a book to read for me.
At the time we had one child, had just bought our first house in a small town and I had just begun my career. Now we have 4 kids, 3 cats, 2 dogs, a different house in a different town and I’m now coming up on 10 years in my job.
While I no longer read, I do blog and I’m new to it but I am enjoying the self exploration that it affords me.
I’m a video gamer, I really enjoy playing games. I’ve been playing games ever since the original NES. My current loves are Blizzard games, mostly World or Warcraft, Hearthstone and to a lesser extent Heroes of the Storm. I also enjoy sharing my gaming time with my kids, we’ve been playing a lot of the Lego games on X-box.
I’m also into table top strategy games, particularly Warmachine and Guild ball. I try to get together once a week to play with a group of friends. I used to attend multiple tournaments a year and actually managed to win one! Sadly, table top gaming almost fell off my list, when Sarah was going through chemo I chose to focus on family instead of hobbies, but now that she is healthy and so much stronger than before I began to realize that I need to now take care of myself and heal and part of that is spending time with friends.
Part of table top gaming but I feel a separate part far enough removed to list as a different hobby is painting. I paint all my own models and I strive to paint to the best of my ability, table top standard is 3 colours and based. I tend to burn through ever colour I own when painting and try to paint as many details as I can. I enjoy practicing new techniques I read about online and one day I hope to finally put the air brush I bought 6 years ago to good use!
While not a hobby I put to use often I build things made of wood. I’ve built a really nice pergola bench for our back yard and some litter / storage
boxes for the cats. When we can get Ella’s room all cleaned out I’ll be adding a built in bed to her closet and making a new working desk for her! Further into the future I’ll be building a loft and some sort of bunk bed in our bonus room to create a double bedroom for Agatha and Cordelia.
Again in a similar vein I also consider myself a bit of an amateur handyman, while some might argue that is more of a necessary life skill than an identifier, I don’t. I enjoy fixing things and find the more and more things I fix the more confidant I am about it! Recently I’ve replaced a side mirror on out van and changed out the sump pump in the basement. I’ve been trying to fix my pressure washer for well over a year and if I ever manage to buy the right part I think I *should* be able to get it back together!
My last identifier I’m going to mention is video creator, while I haven’t embraced this one yet but, I do have everything I need to make youtube videos, more specifically video game gameplay and commentary. I have done some video editing for the Great Big Beautiful Youtube channel and I’m starting to get proficient. If you’ve never edited a video before, it’s a lot harder than it looks, there is so much more than chopping it to pieces and dropping things in the right order!
So while I’ve only listed a couple things that’s so much more than the one I was struggling to find 8 years ago. I’m finding my identity and with time I’me sure I’ll be able to discover more about myself!
I really recommend trying this exercise, you don’t need to go into detail like Sarah and I did, but point form notes are a great place to start. If you can’t come up with a long list don’t worry or feel bad, just start paying attention to things you do and things you love or like Sarah just keep trying new things until something clicks! You’ll find that you are much more #unforgettable than you realize!