I just met someone for the first time.
As soon as we shook hands, she asked me “Who are you? What’s your claim to fame? “I was stumped. Like you, I am more than one person, and I have more than one claim to fame. Pick any ten people from various times in your past. You will probably get ten different answers to those questions.
We are not identified by a particular slice of time. We were child, parent, partner, co-worker, friend and much, much more. Most people get a glimpse of us at a certain point in our life and that is who we are. To them.
Rita and I had occasion to understand this on a visit to Santa Fe.
Our first day taught us the painful lesson about trying to park in town. It costs a fortune. We mentioned this to the campground manager. “Drive to the mall and buy a $ 5.00 monthly bus pass “He advised. Best deal in town.
It turns out there are four different routes from the mall to the center of town. Getting on an empty bus after ten am, and sitting in back of the driver can get you a personalized tour of anywhere. Santa Fe was no exception. Thirty days of this produces a lot of conversation. We exchanged names, and some personal history. These four people were so much more than drivers and tour guides. For a short period of time, we became friends.
Our last full day was devoted to the famous Indian Market. It is huge and crowded. And it involves lots and lots of walking. At the end of the day, we were beat. Exhausted. As we started walking the three blocks to the bus stop, a bus approached and stopped in the middle of the road. Emilio honked the horn and yelled,” Fred, Rita your chariot awaits “.
Heading back to the mall, we learned that Emilio had just been awarded a commission for some high end art work. He was thrilled. We were thrilled for him. As we were getting off the bus, we exchanged hugs and wishes for each other’s good fortune. We were privileged to be a part of Emilio’s life when he added to who he was. A new claim to fame. An artist of repute.
Just for kicks, take pencil and paper and find a quiet place. Try writing down the various pieces that make up your whole identity. I’ll bet you get quite a list of Yours when you are done. Put the list somewhere so you can read it once in a while.
Please, don’t chicken out and say “ I’m just a …
You really are somethings. Be proud of them.