(25) identity questions

Who am I?

Come on, really? Haven’t you been there, done that? Haven’t we been over this already? Yes, of course, many, many times. But let’s revisit it.
I spent a while at work tonight reading my new favorite blog and then following her links to other inspiring blogs, all of them written by women writing out life in these incredibly unique, full-of-life voices, many of them publishing (or having published) books…and then I arrive home with this tremendous sense of needing to write, to write about writing and write about writers, to figure out who exactly I am and why it does that matter so much anyway? And needing to ask if the little and big things I think and say and write matter and to whom they might matter (and how do you properly use whom again?) and feeling like maybe I’m just too timid to really believe that my need to write is valid and that I may actually have useful things to add to the big conversations already happening around me. Or is that really just vanity? I have this deep urge to believe in my own significance. But doesn’t that seem a bit far-fetched? And whatever might be pure and valid in all of this too easily gets tangled in my persistent comparison of others to myself and myself to others with a sharply critical commentary.

On a wholly other note, I changed my surname legally to my husband’s name within a month after our wedding. It was something we’d talked about at length and agreed on. I like this new name, it’s simple, easy to spell, easy to pronounce, all things my maiden name somehow was not. It suits me, I think. Yet, when I reel off my first, middle and last names together, I often mentally go first to my maiden name before filling in my new name. And when I talk to myself (yes, this does happen, possibly more often than it should?), I usually refer to myself with my maiden name, just by accident. I suppose this makes sense, considering I had one name for 26 years and have had the other for less than 2. But name is a piece of identity and my fumbling to claim my husband’s name psychologically, mentally, makes me wonder who I really am? Anna Shimer? Anna Armstrong? Both?

Amazingly, I took a 15+ minute break from writing this to read other blogs. And I am no where closer to answering my own questions. Maybe I will come back to this.


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