Yesterday I made the following comments in reaction to something that was said in an online group I’m a part of:
One should not be defined by anything outside oneself. You’re not defined by what you are or what you do but by who you are. What we are is not a constant. It changes. Same with what we’ve done. We’re not defined by our state in life, our occupation, who we know, or what prizes or awards we’ve won. We’re defined by how we live our lives, the way we treat people. Who we are is, more or less, a constant.
What with me being me, I’ve been thinking a lot about all this. I have a tendency to over analyze stuff. (What?? Shocker, eh?) While I stand by the above statements, an amendment is needed.
On a personal level, I don’t feel who I am is a mother or a wife. Sure I am both of those things but they don’t dictate my every action. They merely dictate how I interact with my spouse and adult children. I love those titles and love being both a wife and a mother. I especially love being a grandmother. Those labels are a part of who I am but I don’t think they define me.
On the other hand, I think my Italian heritage does define me. It affects the way I look at things, for instance, I will always be a snob when it comes to pizza or pasta. Pizza outside of NYC is just a poor substitute for the real thing. Don’t even get me started on jarred spaghetti sauce.
Then there’s the writer in me. I may never write a novel. I most certainly will never be a famous author. That doesn’t matter, though. My brain is wired for ‘writer.’ It always has been. Stories are constantly running through my brain. The overactive imagination in me will always wonder if the noise coming from the basement is a lurking monster.
My Catholic faith should also define me. It certainly does to a large extent but I feel it should be much further imbedded in me. It should dictate my every action and interaction but I’m not quite there yet. I guess that’s the difference between me and the saints.