Who Are You, Who Who, Who Who

Hello all, Katy Lee here, and this seems to be the song stuck in my head this week. Perhaps, The Who faced a time where they had to answer this very same question, and voila! A song was born. At any rate, it is the question of my week.

You see, my debut novel, REAL VIRTUE is set to release on April 4th, and as exciting as this is, and as grateful as I am for this amazing opportunity, it also means I have to now sell my work. Yikes! I have to step out of my tiny, writer’s cave and step into the big, wide world of marketing.

But before I can start to set up those blog tours or take out those Facebook ads, or read Jennifer Fusco’s latest, Market or Die: Integrated Marketing Plans for Writers, I have to answer the question: Who are you? I need to be ready with an answer, or people are going to pass me by…and my work.

Now this is not an easy question. Go ahead, try to finish the sentence: “I am a ________.”

What popped into your mind?

Did you immediately think of your job title? Did you identify yourself with a relationship term, like wife, daughter, or Team Edward fan? Maybe you described your body (If so, join me next week when I share my .02 on a great book I’m reading, EVERY BODY MATTERS), or did you mention your personality or favorite hobby?

Identity labels like these are useful, even necessary. They shape the way we act and feel (and the way people act and feel toward us) in every situation. However, many labels can be misleading, some even hurt us, but none can fully describe the multifaceted reality of a human being. They are only layers covering who you are and also, can change easily without warning. It’s the person underneath who stays the same…and the person, people/readers want to know and relate to.

So this past week has been a time of stillness for me as I peeled back those layers and zeroed in on my answer to the question: Who are you? It actually turned out to be pretty simple.

I am a child of God, created by him to be loved by him. He has put a path before me filled with abundance and responsibility. The experiences behind me help to prepare the way towards that life. I write stories that express this same theme for my characters. And through their journey, I peel back their layers, like skins of an onion, to reveal who they really are underneath.

But, like us, those layers do not define my characters. They are only the experiences that prepare them for their abundant lives God has planned for them.

The Unlocked Secret: The process of releasing your labels begins in stillness. If we hold still long enough, we begin to feel what we really feel and to know what we really know about ourselves. We can peel through the labels, we might even cry through the ones that hurt and left scars on our layers, but eventually, we realize all those labels do not define us. They are only our layers of experiences, and if we really don’t like one, we can peel it off and cast it aside.

Question: And don’t worry, I’m not going to ask you who you are. Unless you want to share, of course. So instead, how about sharing one of your experiences with us, instead. I’ll start. I used to be a Special Education teacher, teaching Autistic children sign language.

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15 thoughts on “Who Are You, Who Who, Who Who”

  1. I didn’t know that we had the same job! I’m horrible at sign language. I can only sign, bathroom, help me, stop. waiting, walking, more, cookie, candy and cup. Those have helped me survive in my classroom so far.

    1. I bet you were a fun nanny! have fun with your class. I think it is such a good thing to know. I have taught my kids a bit just so I can scold them in public without opening my mouth and embarassing them. :)

  2. I’ve heard it said, “Anything that comes after the words, “I am…” can separate us from the divinity we have access to. You might have come up with a tautology. As for me, I used to be a pianist. Hurts a little to put it in the past, but that’s the truth.

  3. I love this post. I know who, I am, a senior citizen. The finest, most wonderful, exciting time of my life. I am a child of God, and my Father knows what a good time I am having. I have goals. They are still there, but I am having fun with them, not stress. And to Grace Burrowes here, it is not over yet, you may decide to play your piano later. After playing the piano almost all my life, but putting it on hold, I am treating myself to piano lessons. The obligation to my teacher gives me the incentive to practice. Piano practice is a joy. All that I do, the many faces I have, give me satisfaction. Thanks Katy for giving me thought.

  4. Now I have that song stuck in my head , too, Katy!

    Excellent post and a question that is food for thought. My first answer to the I am—— was “a woman”. Because underneath ALL of the layers of what I do, and all of the experiences I’ve had, I am most simply, at my core, a woman. For me, these days, that is the most empowering symbol of my identity. Everything else that I am comes from that one thing. As for being a child of God who is ever evolving into the person I am meant to be in this lifetime, that is a given.

  5. Each of us are many things. I am a child of God, a woman, was a wife and a lover, am a mother, a friend, a relative, a neighbor, a co-worker, an employee, a shoulder to cry on, a pet owner, and the list goes on and on. But the person I am today is not the person I was at say, age 20. The sum of my life experiences has made me the person I am today. Some experiences are just that, yet other experiences teach you and mold you into the person you are today, the person whose feet are set on the path God has destined for you. I hope I have evolved into the person He needs me to be in order to be worthy of the path He has destined for me. Life, after all, is a journey … not a destination.

    1. Life is a journey, for sure. But not one wr are on alone, hence why we have all those labels.

      And I hope you don’ t mind me sharing one of your experiences, but my friend, Gerri was once a skydiver! Talk about stepping out in faith! Thanks, Gerri for your comment!

  6. Another insightful, thought-provoking post, Katy. You wanna know the first word that popped into my head? One that really, truly surprised me? I am a WRITER. The reason it surprised me is that a year ago that would not have been my answer. Mother, maybe. Or I might have had to really think about it to come up with something. I’ve really drunk the Kool-Aid in the last year :) Now I’ll share an experience with you: I used to be a server (we were called “waitresses” back then) in a steak and lobster house. Now I am a server in my own house, though I no longer make tips!

  7. Great post, you answered the way I would have initially. And I enjoyed the varied responses. I started caring for children when I was 10. The oldest of seven, Mom went back to work when one of my brothers was born. I had the responsibility of cooking, cleaning, caring for babies. On the job as an adult I was a receptionist, secretary, editorial assistant. For the past several years I’ve been primary caregiver for two grandchildren. Some things change in life, but I’ve recently seen how some things don’t change at all. The greatest being our Creator’s promises.

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