Who I Am
Who am I? That’s a tough question for almost anyone to answer. It takes years of thoughtful reflection and deep exploration. It can't just be answered in a word or even a bunch of words...but that won't stop me from trying!
There was a time, when I might have defined myself with my career. I was a passionate educator dedicated to developing my students into intelligent, responsible, and innovative life-long learners. But while I loved being a teacher, I gave it up to answer a call into ministry...so perhaps it is a good thing that my identity was completely wrapped up in my career.
Teaching was not the only chance I have to work with young people. I could define who I am by my other opportunities working with children. I was a camp counselor, who challenged campers to find their limits and push beyond. I was a youth group leader, who made church fun and encouraged young people to explore their faith in deep and meaningful ways. I was a theatre director and choreographer, who built self-confidence in my actors and helped young artists discover their innate creativity and unique voice. But that’s what I did before going to seminary, and did not define who I am.
Now, I am a second-career seminarian, a residential student, a field study intern...and if you want to give it a fancy title, a vicar! But titles and labels should not define who a person is. These attempts to place people nicely into boxes can be limiting, are often not fully accurate, and can change with each new journey that is undertaken.
I suppose I could look at my relationships that give meaning to my life. I am a loyal friend, a loving son, a dependable brother, and, most rewardingly, a pretty cool uncle to the most amazing nephews and nieces. Yet, these are distinctions given to me by others, and I am definitely not one to be defined through others’ eyes.
So, I guess I need to dig a little deeper and reflect a little more in trying to put into words who I am. One last try... I am outgoing and all too often outspoken. I am very confident in myself, yet daily humbled by the many blessings in my life. I refuse to accept that growing older means that I have to grow up. I am not actually cool, but I pride myself on being "5th grade cool!" I like to argue, so it helps that I think I am always right. I can be annoying, but in that fun, lovable kind of way, right? In words, I am passionate and enthusiastic. In actions, I am decisive and strong. I struggle with patience, especially when dealing with ignorance, complacency, and selfishness. I am faithful to friends, family, and God. I am driven to be the very best version of myself that I can be. I am driven to help others discover their own greatness. And I am driven to create change, make a difference, and leave a legacy! I am me...very happy with how far I've come and looking forward to continuing to learn and grow!