Last week I got a nasty little email from someone (a stranger no less) that confronted me about a project I had in the works. I am not going to waste the bandwidth copying it here. But there is a point to bringing it up. In the email the person asked me (in quite the nasty way) “Who the hell do you think you are to do this?” My first instinct was to fire off my own response pretty much questioning that person’s parentage and telling them where to go and how to get there. But calmer heads prevailed and I kept quiet.
But it really did get me thinking. “Who the hell am I?”
Well, I am a wife and mother. A sister and daughter. A niece. An aunt. A cousin. A friend. Those are a few of my labels. Those are easy. But that doesn’t answer the question of who I am.
I cry when I hold a newborn.
I laugh at the silly and the immature things in life.
I get angry when someone kicks the underdog.
My attention span is short but my patience is long.
My feelings can get hurt too easily, but my will is strong.
If I love you, I do so with all of my heart.
Friendship means everything to me.
If you cross me, I won’t hold back in letting you know how I feel.
By the same token, when I appreciate you, I won’t hold back my gratitude either.
So, “Who the hell am I?”
I am that 8th grade girl whose best friend became her worst enemy in a matter of days for reasons that were never clear to her, so she always blamed herself. The young girl who will always have a part of her think it is her fault now when a friendship goes south.
I am that 16 year old teen who immediately had a crush on that 16 year old boy at a high school party. The girl who blushed every time that boy looked at her. That 16 year old girl who still blushes when that boy she married looks at her that way after all these years together.
I am a woman in her mid-thirties who still feels like she is playing house when she talks to her friends about mortgages, parenting and about the best school districts. A woman who wonders at what age she will finally feel like a legitimate adult.
I am a daughter
who is watching her mother be destroyed by a disease that has no cure, no chance of improvement and does nothing but destroy. The daughter who still wants to crawl into her mother’s lap and have her make it all better but finds herself doing all of the comforting in their relationship. whose mother passed away in Jnauary of 2006 after a 6 month stay in ICU following complications after surgery (made worse by her MS). But still that little girl who misses her mother’s hugs more than anything in this world. Just trying to navigate being a motherless daughter.
I am a mother whose baby died way too soon. A mother who is raising her three children, but still says a birthday prayer on her son’s birthday. A mother who will always hold a spot in her heart for all 4 of her children.
I am a mother who does her best to raise her children without screwing them up too much. A mother who questions most parental decisions, yet still watches her children thrive in spite of it all. A mother trying to find her own way as a parent, yet still falling back on the lessons learned from her own childhood.
I am a drug addict who fights daily the battle to make the right choices when I am under immense stress and try to not take the easy way out. An addict who, when she feels back into a corner, can easily forget how bad it can get but quickly recall how good it felt. But an addict who is 8 years clean, nevertheless.
I am a writer who puts her heart into her words and even when she gets paid for her work still wonders if she has any talent. A writer who tries to ignore the critics, yet hears their voices the loudest.
I am all of those things and so much more. Want to try to slam me down by asking me “who the hell I think I am”? Bring it on. I’d be more than happy to tell you.