I love writing. I always have. I don’t consider myself to be any good. It’s just a tool I’ve used all my life to understand who I am and help work through my thoughts and feelings. I write when I am sad, happy, angry, excited, frustrated. I think I learnt it from my gramps. And now, I am finally at a place in my life where I am ready to share (some things). For once in my life, I want to do something for myself and not for anyone else. I want to write, share and breathe, without any worries of consequences.
Writing is honest. It’s something you do alone (or at least I do) and because of that privacy it allows you to be a bit more truthful than you normally would.
Writing can be vulnerable. When you put your words to paper (or to screen) you share a part of yourself that the world doesn’t normally get to see. You stop hiding parts of yourself and reveal who you really are.
Writing is also a process. It takes time. You understand yourself in ways you normally wouldn’t consider, because you are forced to work through your ideas and thoughts. You can’t run away from them because there they are, staring right back at you, wondering what you are going to do with them.
I told my boyfriend that I was going to start writing. I was actually going to do it. “FINALLY!” he said. He asked what I wanted to write about and when I told him he said “naaah… I think you need to write about yourself first”. I did not like the sound of that. Not one bit. He went on to say how important it was for people to get to know me, the real me. I needed to “introduce” myself to the world. Is that really a thing?
And then it got me thinking, how do I define who I am? How do YOU define who you are? When we meet strangers on the plane, at a party, through friends, we almost always talk first about our jobs or what we do for a living. We never really talk about what we like to do on the weekends or our favorite dessert. Sure, I have a fancy bio that I use most of the time for work stuff, but how would I define myself to a complete stranger if I had to tell them briefly who I am?
So here it is. I am Anishinaabekwe. My name is Animkiikwe. I also go by Desiree, Des, Desi, Miss D or Rae. Pick your favourite and I’ll respond. I am a daughter to an incredibly beautiful, strong, smart mama. I am a sister to a handsome, funny, loving younger brother. And I am a partner to a kind, compassionate, quiet man. I work really hard, and am always on the go. I love savoury over sweet. I am an early riser. I do not drink coffee. I could read for hours. I love to clean. I can’t relax if my home isn’t tidy. I do not enjoy cooking. I am a lover of all animals, except pigs, they terrify me. I run daily. I prefer outdoor physical activities over going to the gym. I grew up a tomboy and most of my friends were boys. I am a mix of introvert and extrovert. I am quiet and reserved but once I feel comfortable with you, I am talkative and full of laughter. I spend most of my time with my family and my friend circle is a very small one. I am extremely loyal. I am stubborn, feisty and very independent. I am a hugger and love to give love. I am reliable and very organized. I cry most in the shower. I am not sentimental with “stuff” except for cards and photos. I have a really big heart, and I empathize with others very easily. I love the heat, I am a true lizard in the summer. But I also don’t mind the winter and the hibernation it brings. I got my first tattoo and tongue pierced in grade 11. I didn’t get my license until my third try, darn parallel parking, but now I am a pro. I am pretty cautious by nature, but I do take risks when my gut leads me to. I search for meaning and purpose, even in small things.
Who am I? Well, I guess I am all that and more but that’s enough sharing for now. The next time you introduce yourself to someone new, I challenge you to share something other than what you do for a living. We are so much more than what we “do”.
Until next time. All my love.