What I Am, What I Am Not, What I Could Be

Ruth and me

My friend and me at her wedding

Today, my mother and I went to the baby shower of my best friend through high school. Since then, we have remained close at heart but taken very different paths. She did two years of mission work, finished college two Mays ago, married last November, and is now pregnant with a little girl. That is miles away from anything that I have experienced.

Going to Oxford proved to myself that I could accomplish great things. Now, I am more confident about my future. Although nothing is easy, the strength to go far and be a bright light is inside of me.

Balancing what I am, what I am not, and what I could be one day is difficult. Sometimes I wish that I was different and had a life more like my friend. Thus, this post is mostly a coping skill for me to practice learning to accept where I am and press forward with hope.

What I Am

  • a writer and speaker
  • a sister and daughter
  • a friend and carer
  • a smiler and crier
  • an actress and singer
  • a blogger and freelancer
  • a cat lover and nature child
  • an explorer and adventurer
  • a Catholic and lover of all people
  • a Aspie and anorexic
  • a mentally ill person and wise adviser
  • a deep feeler and socially awkward observer
  • a reader and problem-solver
  • a princess and puddle stomper
  • a barefoot country child and Oxford scholar

What I Am Not

  • a perfect person and angel
  • a monster and demon
  • a mother and wife
  • a famous star and skilled celebrity
  • a hater and shamer
  • a neurotypical person and mentally healthy adult

What I Could Be

  • a traveler and researcher
  • a survivor and recovered warrior
  • a mother and wife
  • a single woman and happy lady
  • an author and teacher
  • a professor and mentor

What are you? What aren’t you? What could you be? I would love to hear what your lists look like and what you learn from them. I certainly was surprised at how many things I thought of under “What I Am” as opposed to the other two lists. Maybe that shows what I am already offering the world.


15 thoughts on “What I Am, What I Am Not, What I Could Be

  1. jefairgrieve says:

    Great post, Anna Rose! Every so often I feel the need to stop and get a perspective on my life–even at age 75. I’m not even too old for “What I could be”! Remembering that keeps me young . . .


  2. MEM says:

    Wonderful post! You go, girl!

  3. Marie says:

    Excellent post, I think we should all make a list like this to remind ourselves of these things. I will have to do one!

  4. April says:

    You have a lot to offer the world!

  5. Nick Sif says:

    I had a huge response typed out and lost it at the last minute .. thank you laptop ..

    What I am not
    – Patient with technology :/

    Seriously though, when framing these lists I’m very careful with my choice of words. Instead of writing, say, ‘I am a writer’, and I would not say that, because I am not as articulate or as clear as I would like to be in my written expression; instead of writing that, say, I would write something like ‘I possess the ability to write well’. Carefully avoiding the personification of the skill or talent, so that I don’t box myself up into my own stereotype. Likewise, ‘I can’ or ‘I am able’, and their unfriendly opposites ‘I can’t’ and ‘I am not able’ imply, to me at least, a certain loss of control over the situation. ‘I can’t write’ is explicit and ‘and theres nothing I can do about it’ follows it implicitly. To me. So I take care to select words which do not carry those connotations. It’s a core belief of mine that any skill can be learnt. Some skills will come more easily to some people than other skills will. I take to new programming languages like a pig to mud but try to teach me how to flirt – good luck mate. You’ll have better luck teaching relativity to a neuro-average person. But, that’s my point right there, hidden behind that cheap shot at neuro-average people. They are perfectly capable of learning relativity theory. They just have to work at it and put in the effort. Likewise, I could learn to interact with humans face to face one day. It just takes a lot of time, motivation, practice (and a teacher with the patience of a saint).

    So in looking at your lists, mine would be something like ‘Where I am’ – both ‘I possess’ and ‘I do not yet possess’, and ‘Where I would like to be’, which is I guess a sort of wish list of the sort of person I would like to grow into. As a third ‘Where I could go’ is both silly and dangerous because to my mind that encompassess all human activity, both good and ill.

    ‘Where I am’ would have to be constructed with the help of third parties, because try as I might I just can’t see myself the same way everyone else does. Traits such as intelligence, wittyness, humour etc – I love thinking I have those! – but I also possess traits such as quietness, overweight-ness, awkwardness and omfgdidhereallyjustsaythat-ness.

    (Which reminds me, if I have broken some sort of hidden social rule in this post, I didn’t mean to, and if you’d point it out to me I’d be happy to retract and or apologise for it. You know, aspieness and all that)

    • That is a great way to look at it! Labeling yourself as just one thing instead of having that trait can be unhelpful and confusing. Your lists would be a good way to do it. Now, I am thinking about what I add to those. Oh, and you did not break any social rule that I am away of in your comment. 🙂 No need to worry. Also technology can be so aggravating at times. Funny how quickly it goes but how slow it can be when we need it sometimes.

  6. Insight says:

    Haha! This is somewhat a hilarious post, I must say. *laughter*
    From what I read, you’re an all- rounder with an impressive attitude who is willing to live like a free bird, travelling wherever you feel without barriers and enjoy every moment of life. Ummm…. Interesting! Quite interesting.. Glad to notice from what you’re not that you’re a creative girl with a pretty cool mental makeup. Live in the way you want to be here; after all, this is all about your life. 🙂

    Who am I? Briefly saying, I’m a simple person who loves being a nomad. 😀

    Have a good day!

    – Rahul

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