So, What Exactly Are You?

Something has happened. Now that I have a new car I’m listening to First Wave. I’m happily stuck in traffic bopping along to Adam and the Ants, New Order, Depeche Mode, UB40 and more. When you combine the music of my middle school with the friends that facebook offers, I can’t help but find myself lost in reverie, romanticizing the awkward years of middle school.

I remember dancing alone to Madonna’s Holiday in the months leading up to my Bat Mitzvah. I remember praying for pimples to disappear, I was sure G-d could and would help with that. I remember wearing parachute pants over long underwear and jelly shoes that our mothers schlepped downtown to purchase for us.

I also distinctly remember being asked, “what exactly are you?” When I’d wear my beloved creepers, dye strands of hair purple, or date the poor boy from Torrance.

I would whisper, “me, I guess”, because I wasn’t a mod, or a new waver, I couldn’t be a punk and preppy was attractive, but it was a phase that had passed.

Now I’m a forty year old woman who can’t answer a simple question. “What do you do for a living?”

I typically reply, “I’m a housewife.” Because this still seems like a hobby.

Once in a blue moon I’ll say, “I’m a mommy blogger”, and then when people are looking for my third eye or hunchback, I find myself tripping over my own words in an attempt to make sure that they understand that I’m not like them. Then I feel bad, because Mommy Bloggers aren’t all bad, but I do understand the disdain.

I’m a blogger I suppose, I’m a mom and a blogger and I’m pretty passionate about food, and very passionate about the planet.

I’m a chick with a really great internet connection, and a limited filter. What exactly are you?

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  1. I like your initial response… “Me, I guess…” :) The truth is, most of us are comprised of so many facets that it is impossible to identify what, exactly, we are.

  2. I just tell people I’m a writer. Which technically is what I’ve been telling people since I was in the 3rd grade. If they want to know more I tell them to google me. ;-)

    Thoughtful post. I find the further I am away from those awkward years the more I romanticize them as well….

  3. I’m a mom, FT breadwinner, a healthy living blogger, and body image/eating disorder warrior. I’m passionate about helping people live healthy, full & fun lives. I’m addicted to books and coffee.

  4. I’m new to blogging, so I don’t yet consider myself a blogger. What makes you a legitimate blogger? Is it pushing publish on the fist post? Money? Or something else?

    I certainly don’t consider myself a Mommy blogger, and I think I’m too old to qualify anyway:) The way Mommy bloggers support each other is fantastic. The way they butcher each other is tragic. Times are interesting, that’s for sure.

  5. I don’t think I could answer that question very easily either. Not with just one thing. I am a mom, have been for 24 years. I am a teacher b/c I homeschool my kids. I’m a housewife, because I don’t work outside the home anymore. I am a new blogger, but I wouldn’t call me a mommy blogger at all. My last post was about wanting to be a mafia wife, ppl who use thier bra as a purse & colon cleansing. I am the opposite of a mommy blogger. And I am a Twitter addict. I don’t plan on doing 12 steps though b/c I like that addiction. It gives me the opportunity to talk to other grown, adult, humans for change. Those are the things that define me right now on the outside.

  6. Elle

    Why every time people ask ‘what are you’, the answer has to be refer to what your job is, what you do every day.

    I know is a common way to answer. But do we ever think, is that really the right thing to define a person? a human being?

  7. “I’m a chick with a really great internet connection, and a limited filter.”


    • Love that line. Few of my real life peeps understand what I do or what to make of me. One day I show up at school dropping something off for one of my boys dressed in something that looks suspiciously like pajamas or exercise clothes, then next day they see me on the news speaking at a Capitol Hill press conference. I like the air of mystery.

    • Nice to meet you Nina. I am also a person without a filter! I lose followers every day on Twitter for the shocking jokes I make and I cuss every once in awhile. Ppl get offended easily is my slant on it. I can’t help it if ppl take me seriously when I say I punch my kids in the face!! Who would believe that! I had a woman DM me and scold me! WTF lady! I am KIDDING!!!

  8. I am a wife, mother & cancer-survivor. I didn’t come across to these titles in that order, but that is the order I like to put them.

    I am also a know-it-all, twitter addicted, 28 year old who still bites her nails and is perfectly content with a cheap bottle of wine, an old radio playing country music and sitting in our drieveway enjoying beautiful weather. So basically, I’m really classy.

  9. Brooke

    At the risk of sharing TMI, my therapist asked me this question a few years ago. I was struggling with a very rare life change and had lost who I was. My “homework” was a to describe “who I am”. I came back with a piece of notebook paper, with two columns on each side, one positive and one negative. Funny, Judgmental, Loyal, Impatient, Faithful, Naive, etc. I was painfully aware of my flaws. She looked over the list and with a slight look of disappointment, told me that it didn’t tell her WHO I am.

    I am a mother, a friend, a nanny, a lover, a sister, a daughter, a photographer, a student of the world.

  10. Normally when people ask what I do I tell them I am a rockstar.

    When asked what my goals are for the future I say to take over the world.

    The usual response is eye rolls and giggles. I don’t believe in setting limits or putting myself in a box. So there we have it. Rockstar ;)

  11. This is so hard for me to answer for a couple of different reasons…
    First, I wear sooo many different hats so no one label describes me (seriously, in addition to MOM and Ohana Mama, I have FOUR other jobs)

    And second, it totally depends on who I am talking to…some people I DON’T want finding my blog…

    But I do love the “you want to know, google me” response…that’s awesome!

  12. The question, “who are you?” is usually asked by people who really don’t care to know, they just want to put you in a box, set you up to then be knocked down. Or, they don’t even realize they’ve asked you the biggest question there is… they’re trying to make small talk and can’t imagine why it isn’t easy for you to spit out a pat answer.

    And then the internal struggle: Why do I feel compelled to answer? To make it sound interesting? And for people to like what I say?

    I feel like I have struggled with this for my entire personal and professional life. It makes my brain hurt, cause I’m never what people expect me/want me to be.

  13. Friend. Wife. Mother. Bitch. Lover. Caregiver. Dog-lover. Dog-ignorer. Teacher. Blogger. Part-time Renaissance Woman. Yoga-lover. Adventuress. NCAA Volleyball player (at one time.) Shoe fetish. 5th-Generation Californian ex-pat in Boston. MBA. Communicator. Sharer. Nerd. Fashionista. Food addict. Nutritional student. Professional dieter. Buddhist traveler. Wanna-be surfer. SCUBA diver. Media & Questionable TV lover. Book fiend. Design worshipper. Efficiency expert. Mommy blogger. Burgeoning Politico. Clean food nut. Mom of Twins. Music surveyor. Creator.

    Each one and all together = me.

  14. I met a girl who introduced herself as “SuperKate.” She said because she’s a superhero. I liked that definition.

  15. Why is it that our society expects women to be a full time mother AND that other thing…. and yet ‘we’ are so quick to denounce women who are ‘bad’ mothers. Is Mother not a ‘who I am’? When I first fell in love with my babies, and decided I HAD to stay home – unexpectedly – I found myself saying, ‘I used to be a banker, consultant…’ Then I stopped saying anything.
    The one thing I wouldn’t trade for anything – my children are pretty well grown now, and my Eldest said to me, ‘I am so glad I had a mother who stayed home, and read to me, and let me play outside.’
    I am a woman with a great family connection, and the keeper-of-the-flame.
    Any way to stay in touch with them and their times: internet, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Skype, Blogging – yes, I’m up for it!

    • Sarah – so true and I hear so many SAHM that have to talk about who they were before they were “just a mom”. Partnering with another blogger on our second blog “Lives Less Ordinary” just to address this. Who we are isn’t defined by what our professional accomplishments are.

  16. At a networking event last week and was asked “so what do you do?” You would have thought I would have come prepared with an answer. Instead I cocked my head and just said “I don’t know”. Then the hordes of marketing/PR people in attendance swooped in to tell me that I need to work on my elevator story. True. I should be able to say what I do in 30 seconds or less. Whether or not people like it is another story.

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