If anybody else read this post title and immediately started singing Les Mis, you're not alone. ("two-four-six-oh-OOOOOOOOONE!") And even if you were the only reader who initially thought of that, you're probably not the only one thinking of it now. (ah, the power of suggestion.)
But in all seriousness, this is a question that is constantly popping up in my head (and the song subsequently gets stuck in there, too). How many of us really go through life without contemplating who we are and who we want to be? That's not me at all. And then there are the questions that accompany this reflection: Am I bridging the gap between who I am now and who I want to be at the right pace? Am I moving in the right direction? What lack I yet? How much change can I really take before I become someone unrecognizable? How much do I want to change? What do I want to keep?
Lots of questions. But that's all right.
Without these questions, I would never evaluate myself and my life. I would never question why I am the way I am. I would never get to know myself. I would never seek for answers. I would never look for ways to improve myself. I would never identify my weaknesses. I would never identify my strengths. I would be simply content to lie back and be dormant. Apathetic. Stiff. Stale. BORING!
No, thanks. I know myself well enough to know that's not what I want to be. That's not me.
So back to the original question: Who am I?
I'm Megan. I'm Glen's wife. I'm Don and Kathy's daughter. I'm Kelly, Craig, and Tom's sister. I'm Mildred, Reed, Sam, and Joyce's granddaughter. I'm Nicole, Jake, Andrew, Jack, Ali, Lucy, and Graham's aunt (i think that's the order they came in, at least). You may say I'm defining myself by others, but I don't see it that way. These people are so important in my life that I couldn't define myself without them. They are part of what makes up who I am.
I'm Danish. I'm Manx. I'm . . . okay, I'm a Scandinavian mutt. I'm an editor. I'm a teacher. I'm a committee member. I'm a secretary. I'm a neat freak. I am compulsively early to everything. I live by lists. I'm a pianist. I'm a singer. I'm an accompanist. I'm a last-minute substitute organist. There are a myriad of other things that help me identify myself. No, none of them are very glamorous, but they're important to me. That's the key.
And that's not even all. I'm also a daughter of God. I've been taught this and believed it for as long as I can remember. I know so many other things about myself because of this simple truth. Because I know who I am, because I know I am loved by a Heavenly Father, I can become so much more than I am right this moment. There are still questions and I still need to evaluate who I am and which direction I'm going to take in my life, but I know I can go and do, grow and improve because of Him. His love and plan makes it possible for me to find the answers to the questions I mentioned above. How amazing.
No, I'll never be rich and famous. My life is quiet and probably will continue that way. But in the end, I do know who I am. I know who has helped shape my life. I know I can become who I really want to be. And no matter how many or few people I touch in this life, who I am is someone valuable.
So are you.