On Becoming More of Who I am

Jun 5, 2015 | Uncategorized

In light of my upcoming 31st birthday, I’ve been thinking a lot about people and how we become the way we are. Some people know they’re born for certain things and/or are certain about who they are early.

I am not one of those people.

Sure, I’ve always had quirky things about me that I was proud of, but I never really thought of them as the things that define me.

I was listening to a podcast that featured Chris Brogan this week and in it he mentioned a quote from Sally Hogshead made during her keynote at the Authority Rainmaker conference: “Don’t change who you are, become more of who you are.”

Revel in the things that make you, you.

For the last few years, I had “aspiring domestic goddess” written in my online bio. I think I wrote it shortly after Pinterest exploded and I thought to myself, “It can be done! I can be a working mom/domestic goddess/Chief Operating Badass.”

But then, after hearing Sally’s quote this week, I had an epiphany: I’m almost 31 years old and I truly do not want to be a domestic goddess. I like the idea of being a domestic goddess, yes. But it’s just not who I am.

Truthfully, I love the fact that my husband takes the initiative to make dinner. Feeding two boys under the age of 5 comes with its challenges, so we eat a lot of quick, kid-friendly dishes. But on the days that I don’t have to make it, consider me lucky. Also, I’m not craftsy. The boys’ teachers will always get a (thoughtful) store-bought gift, and I’m pretty sure I won’t ever attempt to make a homemade gift again, but that’s OKAY.

This epiphany got me thinking. Who am I, really? What idiosyncrasies differentiate me from everyone else? How can I use these to achieve my goals/live a purposeful life?

I guess there’s something about entering a new decade that makes folks do a lot of ruminating, because over the past year I’ve had some pretty amazing self-truths surface.

– I’ve always tried to shy away from my fiery nature. It’s something I always thought was a negative quality, but I’ve never really been good at hiding it. It just sort of, happens. Sometime last year I realized that that’s just who I am. I am fiery. I am passionate. The things I love, I am deeply passionate about, and things I despise, well, it’s about the same. The truth is, I’m a little like Bruce Banner-I’m always angry. But I’m finding new ways of re-directing it–and responding to it–so that I control my temper.

– I’m finding that in my life, there’s less gray area with more “yes, please” or “no, thanks.” I’m less wishy-washy, and It’s easier for me to make decisions when I have concrete facts. I assumed this is just part of being an adult, but I’ve since discovered that there are many adults who don’t possess this quality. Being a parent forces you to make decisions all the time that directly impact tiny lives, and you don’t really have time to dwell on whether it was the right choice or the wrong one. The next time, you just make a decision based on the previous experience and hope that it turns out better.

– I’ve also struggled with being “cool enough” for years. I think most people probably shed this fear sometime during or after high school, but for me, I’m really just now starting to turn my DGAF level to 11. I know who am, I know who I’m not, and I’m consciously trying to make sure I don’t give anyone the impression of the latter. Rather than using an enormous amount of energy hiding my flaws as a person, I can accept them and instead use that energy to focus on my strengths.

This is a good thing, because those are some pretty badass mothafu*kin’ strengths.

So, I decided to update my bio to speak to more of who I am:

Little but fierce. Digital strategist. Bird nerd. Music geek. Thirst for life.

I gotta roll, can’t stand still. Got a flame in my heart, can’t get my fill.**

I think 31 is gonna be a pretty good year.

**Because a little Zeppelin is always a good idea.

1 Comment

  1. Nadia

    I LOVE this post Ashley. There is this feeling that somehow what we are needs to be molded, reshaped, and repackaged so we can be better versions of ourselves, but it’s not necessary. We just have to stand in who we are and improve to become better versions of us instead of more sterile (or PC/agreeable) versions.