I am what I am

This is the very best photo anyone has ever taken of me. My dad took it a loooong time ago. I sat forever because he used a large format camera back then.

As it happens, Popeye had something in that little old saying of his. What I love about the statement, “I am what I am,” is that it’s not fear based. It’s a simple declaration of love, love for being who he is when others don’t quite get him.
That is kind of how I see being a writer. I have heard other writers say they won’t tell people they are writers. I understand the reason. I know that it all comes down to that dreaded question, “Oh yeah, well do you have anything published?” As if that is somehow supposed to validate what I feel inside. As if it somehow deminishes what I am doing because a few people on the outside may or may not think my words are worthy.
What I realized, as I am journeying through this thing called life, is that what others say or believe doesn’t really matter. I am what I am. I am so many things, a writer is one of them and I am not afraid to say it. But, I also am a mother to two great kids. I am a wife and partner. I am someone who loves to bake. I am someone who loves to bead. I am an educator. I am also the things I am not. In other words, I am not the sum-total of my publications or awards, as perhaps I’ve been led to believe at times. I am not a workaholic, though I love my work as a writer and an educator, but none of it feels like work. I am not nearly as good a cook as my husband, though I give cooking a try.
If we give voice to who we are, then we validate it. If we shout it from the rooftops, then we validate it, even when others might be laughing or doubting that we can create the life we want.
I am reminded of a Sunday Morning on CBS interview with Dolly Parton I saw a while back. In the interview, she spoke of her high school graduation. She spoke of declaring then that she was going to be a super star. She said everyone laughed at her, but look at her now. It wasn’t that she knew it so much as she said it and kept saying it until she manifested it.
So, go ahead and say it. I will. I am a writer, among so many other things. I am what I am.

P.S. Rather than have a bio associated with this blog, I have changed it to an Artist’s Statement, because that is what I am, too, and I rather like the idea of an artist’s statement versus a list of all that I have accomplished, which really doesn’t say anything about me.

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9 thoughts on “I am what I am

  1. Linda Cassidy Lewis

    Yay to finding yourself and charting your individual journey!

    Last year was rough for me, but one of the good things that came from it was realizing that I can’t be anyone other than myself and I have to find my own way.

    Be what you are … and that’s a wonderful person. :-)

  2. cynthia

    I love this post. Just wonderful. As is the photo. So great to catch up with you. And l also love the idea of an Artist’s Statement–off to read yours.

    1. survivorscribe Post author

      Thanks, Cynthia. I got the idea from seeing something on writing the MFA statement. Then I thought about wanting an artist’s statement.


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