who are you

Who do you want to be? What's your identity? Who are you?!

You know sometimes, when you realise you've been identifying with something ... and realise you don't have to? That you can change that belief. And that it doesn't define you.

That's how I was with smoking ... I smoked 20+ cigarettes a day from 16 years old until 38. And when I stopped I was worried about WHO I WOULD BE.

It sounds insane, but my identity was as a smoker. I wondered who I would be as a non-smoker.

The answer of course, was me ... the same as I was as a smoker during all the time I didn't smoke. If that makes sense.

It really made me think though - I'm glad I realised it but it felt stupid and I wondered why I wanted that identity, why I was actually worried about who I would be without it.

That was 9 years ago now.

Last year when I decided to lose weight I thought I'd like to get back to a (UK) size 14.

It felt like an achievable goal, and it felt like a size where I would feel 'normal'.

I also identified that it was a size I'd been happy at as an adult and had been kind of default size for me - I loved getting smaller and hated getting bigger but 14 felt 'enough'.

Well, then I became a 12 and THEN decided to reach for more, be braver, bolder, go for what I really want - and hadn't been, hadn't lived in my body at a small size as an adult.

But why should that mean I couldn't? Why shouldn't I choose the big goal?

Why not say it, go for it, commit to it? Just because you haven't done it before, doesn't mean your life has to be lived in where you've been comfortable before.

And ... I've never been very fit, well, since a child/teenager who loved sports and running and ballet.

Not part of my identity.

Not until now. I've been softer, curvier, warmer ... as a child I was lanky, free, needed movement.

So I'm now making that my identity too.

I am going to become the fittest I've ever been in my life.

This is BRAND NEW!

Fit and strong and lean (and still soft).

I don't know why I've been scared of saying it, wanting it, doing it.

But now I do.

We can choose our identities, shrug off those that no longer serve, that in fact hold us back.

What do you really want?

Who do you want to be?


So, what do you do?

I've been thinking about this a lot recently.  For a few reasons.

And there are a few things that have struck me, that I wondered then if it's just me who does this or whether more of us do.  (Or don't, really).

And that is, actually put a name to it and SAY who they are.

It's been bugging me for a couple of reasons.  

Firstly, a while ago, well two years ago when I started blogging actually, I also started becoming very aware of the language used when you meet new people.  Small talk convention means that pretty soon in any conversation with someone new you'll be asked ... 

'So, what do you do?'

And I think most of us, also out of convention, then talk about 'what we do to make money/make a living'. 

I suppose the question could be posed differently, but even as it stands ... WHAT DO YOU DO?

Many, many people have things they DO outside their work that they love, that's their passion, that's actually what they work in their paying job to DO.

But no one (well, hardly anyone) answers the question with, 'Oh I'm a circus performer, a trapeze artist' ... and then, 'oh, you mean what I do for a living? I'm a marketing manager for a beauty company - and currently it allows me to follow my passion, the trapeze'.

I was thinking about it two years ago when I started my blog and recently I've become really interested again in the language I used and use.

Two years ago, I changed my public 'profile'  description (on social media) and I added my hobbies/passions/projects to that description.

So I'd say things like:

'Magazine publisher by day; foodie and supperclub founder by night'

And honestly, even that felt a little bit ... well, brave ... for me, to start talking about the things I love doing for me, after being so confined by 'what I did to make money'.

Of course, once you start challenging your beliefs and thoughts, you keep on doing so.  

I started thinking more about whether, when asked in a social situation, 'what do you do?', whether I could turn it round and answer FIRST with what I love to do and THEN with what I do to make a living.

(I do have to note here that unlike many people in 'jobs' that pay the rent or mortgage, I have a career that I love and enjoy and am proud of what I create and make happen there.  So this isn't about someone hating their job and wanting to be defined as something else. I've been - and am - more than happy to say I'm a magazine publisher and I can (as many know) talk about it 'til the proverbial cows come home). 

But it's no longer, 'what I do'. 

And I see now that progression when I look back again at those social profiles.

OK, I moved on a bit - calling myself a 'foodie' and a 'blogger'.  

But actually, aren't they a little bit ... nothing?

There's no passion there!

Recently, I decided to drop the 'day job' info completely. For now - as I said, it's still something I love and am proud of.  

But I need to stand up and say who I am.

And why, why, why ... has that been so hard and taken so long?

As of last weekend, I updated my profiles to say that I'm a ... 

'Writer, cook, creator of the Tiniest Thai supperclub and eating plan'


To be honest, I've further to go on this - in naming who I am/what I do, owning it, NAMING it and sharing it.

But I'm sharing now as this has felt important to me - announcing (not without fear, of course still with fear that somehow I'm bluffing), but announcing who I am and what I do.

And next time at a party and someone asks what I do, I'm really practising not defaulting to my (interesting and sounds great) 'magazine publisher' job.  

I'm practicing saying what it is I DO. That I spend every spare moment doing. That I do with or without payment.  

It tells more about who I am and what I love.

I am (right now) a writer, a cook and a host/salonniere of my Tiniest Thai supperclub and salon.

And If I can do it politely and in a way that opens up interesting conversation, I'm going to be challenging others to talk about their passions when they answer that question ... 

'So, what do you do?'

... with details about what they spend their days doing to pay the mortgage.  

And hopefully, lots will love their careers.

And others will start talking with passion about their passions.