Who I Am

Who I Am


photo by Let Ideas Compete.flickr.creative commons In my small group, we like to play a name game. Lately, our group has been growing, and it's sometimes hard to keep everyone straight. We go around the circle and say our names and answer a question about ourselves, which changes each week.

Sometimes they ask me to pick the question.

We learn a lot about each other from these seemingly small things. Our favorite element of the periodic table, for instance, or what we would like our occupation to be if we could do anything (I said that I'd like to be a princess).

A couple of weeks ago, I was asked to come up with a question. Usually, I try to ask one that I have a ready answer for, but this particular week, I shot from the hip with "what is your favorite inanimate object?" We went around the circle, hearing about a significant number of hiking boots and running shoes, and then it came to me.

My mind was blank.

I hemmed and hawed longer than I should have before saying something quickly, about my vintage yellow sunglasses. Honestly, I just couldn't get my thoughts together. Everyone smiled and we moved on around the circle. As always, it was a good way to start group.

photo by Páris Neto.flickr.creative commons

Later, one of the guys and I were talking. "Your sunglasses aren't your favorite inanimate object," he said casually. "It would definitely be a book."

I looked at him in shock, wondering how I could have missed something so obvious and true. Of course. A book. My Bible or journal or a spiritual memoir, a dogeared copy of the Book of Common Prayer given to me by my first ever priest. The little books that I wrote and illustrated when I was little, riding in the cart through Costco. How could I have forgotten something so central to myself?

This may seem a silly thing, and in some ways it is. It is silly for me to blank on something that makes perfect sense when suggested to me, kindly, with knowledge of who I am.

My small group and I are building a foundation together. We are getting to know each other: the silly, little things, and the big, important things. Maybe they aren't so different after all. When I'm getting off course in life, I hope that one of these people I've been real with will say something. I hope that these people will remind me who I am.

Sometimes, it seems, I forget.