Who are you? A common question, but how do you answer? Do you answer with your name, your job title, your hobby, your sports team, or your spiritual affiliation? Identity can be tricky and gets to the core of who we really are. We tend to share our identity with only those we can trust. In the DC area, our identity is often confused with our work address, political affiliation, alma mater, resume bullets or size of our bank account. It may not be said overtly, but it doesn't need to; our calendars, circle of friends and zip code speak volumes. The painter lowers his eyes as he walks past the well suited lawyer as the chasm that separates their lives is mammoth. The suited lawyer works crazy hours ensuring she never returns to the humble beginnings or must live up to the family name. I have lived both sides of this bizarre dance of confusion between identity and biography. I have been the professional in the suit and the tradesman in jeans; both can be an identity trap if tied to our biography. Pride and shame are just off stage awaiting the opportunity to take center stage to influence how I interpret the world. The temptation is to associate with those in our own sphere, but our bubble of insulation robs us of the joy of meeting those that can expand our world. Only recently have I started to peel back the biographical layers to determine the guy behind the wardrobe, education, zip code. These new experiences are expanding my vocabulary for the world around me and life is becoming far more interesting. People are more than one dimension and have a variety talents and interests, just like you. So, how do you answer the question; who are you?
Does your biography define you? How will you separate your identity from your biography? What causes you angst about being vulnerable and living true to your identity? Who would be the most surprised by learning who you are? What excites you the most about living in light of your identity?