Why do we answer questions like, “who are you?” with “I am a doctor”. Why do we use our profession to say who we are? Sometimes we add other roles like “mother, runner, book lover…” things we like and do. But that’s not who we are. And what about people that don’t have a career? Teenagers for example? They will say, a student, a son…
One of the biggest problems in associating oneself with a career is that if and when that career dissipates you lose yourself. And I had that happen to me once. Since I was a little girl, I loved fashion. It was my world and I thought it would always be my world. I went to two fashion design colleges and saw my entire future creating costumes for period movies. I loved everything about that world. It was my identity. And the more movies I designed, the more I clung to this identity. That’s who I was, a costume designer. Until I wasn’t. Until I realized that the film industry wasn’t what I expected. That the long months alone in a hotel room filled with clothes that weren’t for me wasn’t what I wanted for my future. That I didn’t feel appreciated or valued in that career enough. That the film industry has still a long way to go before it changes the spotlight to the backstage. And so I quit.
The following months felt empty. I wasn’t sure of who I was anymore. I had ideas for things I could do but that wasn’t the same. For so long I had associated myself with that world that replacing the job wasn’t enough. Five years later and I am still figuring out. What other ways can we answer the question, who are we? Maybe with our feelings and beliefs? With our race? Our nationality? Is it the combination of all those things? Am I an illustrator, a wife, a Brazilian, a spiritualist, a runner, a cook, a writer, a human being…. what else? I am a good person. I feel like an old soul. I am a believer in the good in people. I have a creative mind. I am a tea lover and an animal protector. But what is the one sole thing that describes me? I would like to say that I am an old soul experiencing this human existence to find out who I really am.
The next time I have to answer the question, who am I?, I’m gonna have to say, I’m trying to figure out but here is what I currently do and like.