Monday, July 19, 2010

Defining yourself

How do you define yourself? I'm talking about the deep-down fundamentals at the core of who you are.

A few months ago (yes, I've been pondering this for ages), I went for lunch with a mentor of mine. She's basically my Yoda. She wouldn't like that comparison and would much prefer I call her my Branch Rickey, but I'm trying to appeal to mass knowledge here. Anyhoo, we discussed my concussion and how it was screwing with my sense of self.

I had never taken the time to figure out what makes me tick. Luckily this extremely insightful woman had and her conclusions were spot on.

She proposed that I define myself in the following way:
1. I am tough and can handle anything on my own.
2. I am a hard-worker who will go above and beyond the call of duty.
3. I am an active and contributing member of society.

No wonder I felt I was losing myself! The concussion proved that I was not as tough as I like to think I am. I had to quit my job and was no longer hard-working. I spent hours on the couch alone, so there goes my contribution to society. Okay, I realize I'm being a drama queen, but it's how I felt at the time.

I was terrified that I wouldn't be "me" again; that those core elements I used to define myself were gone. I wasn't entirely sure I liked the new "me." I was scared my friends and family would secretly wish I was who I used to be. I kept trying to get back to being the person I was before the accident.

Slowly but surely the "me-ness" returned: my sense of humour came back; my ability to express myself returned; my physical strength grew. I felt more and more like myself.

And I stopped trying to be the "me" from before my accident. Luckily, with healing came wisdom. I learned from the accident and became a richer person for the experience. I wouldn’t go back to being the woman without this new wealth of knowledge.

I look at the way I defined myself pre-accident. I don't know for sure, but I suspect my core values have shifted in the past few months. Only time will tell, but I'm curious to see how I will define myself in the future.

SOTS wonders... How do you define yourself? Can your core values change or are they an inherent part of you?


  1. FABULOUS! I needed this...especially today! Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

  2. This was wonderful. I really want to think about how I define myself. Thanks!

  3. Wonderful thoughts. Laura - I'm just starting read your blog, and it's starting to make me think about my own life. You and I have always connected because we are so similar in how we LOVE our careers and we have difficulties separating ourselves from that. In the past while, I've started to think about that. I have to be ... I AM more than what I DO. WHO we are enhances what we DO. And more often than not, we lose touch with that concept. Looking forward to following your blog, my love xo

    oh...and call me.