Who am I?

This is always a difficult question. For all of us. We are always changing, growing, learning more about ourselves and the world in which we live, how to survive it, and how to make it better. Hopefully.

Who I am doesn’t compare to who I am in Christ. Without Him, I am nothing. Without Him, I am less than who I was made to be.

Maybe it’s easier to talk about who I am not.

I’m not a cat person. Except for the little black kitten who once found us and loved us for three days. I loved her back in spite of the little snot-covered mustache she wore under her nose.

I am not a night-owl. By 8pm, I begin drifting in and out of conversations. Yawning, smiling politely while raising my eyebrows, a slight attempt at keeping my eyes open instead of dozing off.

I am not a coffee-in-a-styrofoam-cup person. I prefer feeling the warmth of a porcelain cup between my hands, against my chest, the heat illuminating my body as sunlight falls through the windows, breaking the darkness, filling me with light, warmth and love.

I am not a jeans person. Oh, I am definitely not a jeans person. Ask my sister who struggled through countless mornings with me trying to get ready for school. My famous words getting dressed were, “I. Can’t. Breathe!!!” It’s pretty safe to say that I’ve struggled with sensory issues most of my life.

When I wasn’t being strangled by denim, gasping for air, I was sitting crossed-legged on our living room floor, one sock on, the other turned inside out being stripped of all its fuzziness. Those little white knots of discomfort who were not welcome inside my shoes.

Then, there were the pantyhose. Thankfully, reserved only for Sunday mornings and finally retired completely after the black cloud of shame incident that occurred at my grandma’s house. I still have no idea what happened. I was probably trying to change out of my church clothes into shorts. The only thing I remember is sitting inside our red minivan, crying into a cloud of black threads the size of a basketball while my family was inside enjoying lunch without me.

But the jeans. Always a problem. Starting all the way back in Kindergarten, I remember a day Mom fastened a safety pin to my pink corduroys providing more space to help soften the I can’t breathe mentality. Unfortunately, this plan backfired. Assuming the pin would stab me to death if I moved, I held my breath the entire way to school until Dad turned the car around. He took me home to change, and then we went shopping for new, soft, stretchy, buttonless, painless, pin-less pants.

Sometimes we have to know who we are not before we can understand who we are. It’s often the little things that define us. Not just one little thing, but all of our little things, stretched together over a lifetime. We’re all made of a lot of little things. And that’s what makes us different. Tiny differences in our genes. And, sometimes, our jeans. But, when you look at the big things, we are all mostly the same.