Who am I?

Seems like such an easy question, right?  When a coach recently asked me this, my immediate thought was, “I am a wife, mother, daughter, sister, granddaughter, niece and working woman.”  

The problem with this answer is that it does not answer who I am but rather who I am in association to others.  So, who am I, really?  When I am at my happiest, what am I doing?  What am I passionate about?  This simple question took some deeper thinking.

I am happiest near the water.  I love sitting in the warmth of the sun whether it be by the pool or at the beach.  I like to spend some time in the water but enjoy being near it just as much.  Flipping through clothing catalogs, laying in a lounge chair watching the clouds float by and sipping on a cool, refreshing drink are my favorite things to do while relaxing by the water.  

I enjoy being surrounded by my kids, playing games or watching shows with them.  Sunday brunch with Jake and the kids is one of my favorite times of the week.  I love to play and watch tennis with my daughter and take after school walks with my son.  I am intentional about spending quality time with them and can feel their love for me in return.

Date nights with Jake make me feel loved and special.  Sharing our thoughts and dreams for the future over food and drinks is exciting and keeps us connected to each other, our kids and the life we have built. I also enjoy sitting out on our back patio with him, sipping a really good scotch, bourbon or maybe even a dirty martini, and letting the sun go down.

I love food and consider myself a true foodie.  Anyone who knows me and has dined with me knows I like to try new places.  I’ve done this enough that I’ve been inducted into the Yelp Elite Squad (YES!).  Not only do I like to eat food, but I also love to cook it.  I take pride in cooking without recipes and enjoy hearing compliments from my family.  My favorite foods are ice cream and, being born and raised in Nebraska, a smoked, medium rare, corn-fed beef prime rib (with creamy horseradish).  Because of my love for food, I have also developed a passion for health and wellness.  I work out to counteract my favorite foods and because I want to live to 100.  I also love the community I get from my fitness tribe.

Gardening makes me happy.  It is my creative outlet.  I love seeing new plants grow and the way varying colors of green contrast against each other in the garden.  Add all of the beautiful flowers, succulents and varied foliage and I am in my happy place.  

Helping others through challenges in their careers is a passion for me.  I am Pineapple Courage.  As I see others have success, land new jobs, fix relationships and build trust with others, I feel their success too.  It’s an amazing feeling and it brings me joy.  The number of relationships I have built over my career with people I have met, worked with or for is amazing.  I am in awe and grateful for the friendship, love and encouragement they have brought to my life.  This blog has helped me to continue my practice and hone my writing during the pandemic and has been very therapeutic.  Thank you for reading, commenting and sharing it.  

Taking time to think about who I really am has made me recognize that perhaps the shortcomings in my life are a result of me following my head and not my heart.  The pandemic has left me searching for what truly makes me happy.  I find my days, from the moment I wake up to when my head hits the pillow, filled with things I “should” do.  Most of this is unnecessary, and in most cases, these tasks do not bring me joy.   I’m working on spending more time doing the things I love and value.  It is important to stop, pause, and literally smell the roses, so I can enjoy more of my life.  The pandemic has helped with this pause and as activities start to pick back up, I want to continue to build on these things that make me, “me”.

So now that I have shared with you who I am, who are you?

~Natalie

11 thoughts on “Who am I?”

  1. Great post and a good reminder to enjoy life. I too get so caught up in the things I “should be” doing instead of doing the things that bring me joy. You continue to inspire me 🙂
    Truly grateful for our friendship.

  2. Stephanie McCormick Gilbert

    I have a hard time with this question. I need to spend some time thinking about the answer and not just who I am to other people.

  3. Love this post, Natalie. ? I also did a lot of self reflection last year, trying to figure out who I really am, what makes me happy.
    I am happiest sitting in a tree stand or turkey blind, watching nature in “silence”. Baking relaxes me and watching my kids in the kitchen fills me with pride and joy. I love that smoked ribeye you wrote about (sans creamy horseradish), alongside potato perogies and a good full body beer. Spending one-on-one time with each of my kids brings happiness as well; along with time together as a family. I enjoy my husband way more when we’re with our friends and family or participating in an activity (golf, fishing, hunting, ballgames, etc.), so I’ve nixed date nights with just the two of us…and I’ve realized that’s ok. Perhaps more importantly, I’ve decided that all of these things are far more rewarding to me than a clean house, organized garage, or perfectly manicured yard.

    1. Yes! What a year it has been but it has helped me to get really clear on what I want more of and the things to let go of, like you mentioned a clean house or perfectly manicured lawn. 😉

  4. Thank you. This was a great thing to read late on a Friday afternoon; just what I needed. I did just stop and smell a very beautiful red rose that I picked today.

  5. Great question, Natalie. It’s one that, for me, requires more than just a little bit of time and thought, though. In a lot of ways, I feel like I’ve forgotten who I am. In other ways, I don’t see it as having forgotten, but failing to recognize how I’ve changed or worse, how I haven’t changed when I should have. But if I take your lead, and focus not on who I am in relation to others but on who I am at my core, who I am based on what I like, what makes me happy, what inspires or motivates me, I think I’m just not sure anymore. One day I’m fascinated by one thing and the next, it might be something else. I love learning new things and I love sharing what I learn.

    I’m going to stew on this some more and get back to you. ?

    1. I completely understand where you are coming from Kevin. I too couldn’t figure out what I wanted and was all over the board with what I thought would make me happy. I found that this exercise is helping me to get really clear on my values again and more importantly make decisions that should bring me more happiness.

      I look forward to hearing if it helps you too. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

      Natalie

  6. I really loved your post. Who am I is a really multi-faceted question. I think you answered it well. And it makes us all think! I am a Jesus lover (always still learning more and growing in my walk), Mother, Wife, Lover of family and friends. I am happiest in nature also- the beach, sand, ocean, blue skies, flowers, trees, etc. make me really happy and feel at peace in such amazing creation. Love to garden also! It’s so refreshing to take care of plants and see them grow. I planted seeds off a strawberry I’d been eating the other day and now have the tiniest of strawberry plants growing LOL. Ultimately, I think God wants us to each be who we were meant to be and enjoy being unique and sharing our gifts with one another. You are an amazing person! Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thank you for the feedback Nicole. It is a deep question and requires some time to think about. I agree that nature and the phenomenon of life (plants, animals, humans) is beautiful and amazing.

      I have not thought to try to grow strawberries from seeds. Now I’m intrigued!

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