Who I am

Who am I?

I recently had to give a 3 minute pitch to an organization describing who I am and why I should be elected to leadership. It wasn’t something I prepared and it wasn’t difficult.

I told them my name, my history with the organization, and my vision for the future. I was asked one question, how? That is a loaded question. I answered it with a new idea that had been percolating in my own mind for years.

My opponent was asked another pointed question, why? All the voting members were instantly looking back on past activities and decisions. The account was being called and an answer demanded. The only wrong answer is a lie, there were no lies given that I could identify.

One day I will face the same question, why? I’m no stranger to it, neither are you. We all have to give an account from time to time, particularly if you are a parent. When we begin to talk, we demand a justification for how the world works.

Why, why, why…

Why do I have to push my glass in from the edge of the table? Why can’t I go out with friends? Why did dad leave? Why did I fail? Why do you …? Why looks back.


It all started there. What brought me to this time and place in my life? My story is complex and complicated with multiple layers of experiences and decisions. I am what remains. John Kasich recently said we can choose to be a victim or push against the wind.

I spent years as a victim waiting for someone to help me or change my situation. But then, I got up and changed myself, helped myself, and chose who I allowed to influence my decisions. I have some very ugly answers to why, but the story doesn’t stop there. But now, is the answer I am proud of. But is a transformative transition if you choose to push against the wind. I was a victim as long as my mind built retaining walls out of poor choices and bad experiences. When I realized I built my victim cell, I could destroy it. Gone was my isolation and in time people who like who I am filled its place.

Who am I?

I am me and I’m good. My vision for my future is brighter than the why of my past. Things I thought were barriers were lies I told myself and others reinforced. You can’t, you’re not, you will… But now they are stepping stones and course corrections to who I am. How it proceeds now matters, and it’s up to me.

Who I am defines me.

I get to say who I am. I can say I am a six foot tall man, but I’m not. When I define myself others immediately begin to test me. Does my history support my claim? Does my behavior, appearance, and attitude fit the definition? If she is who she says she is, where do I expect her to go from here?

Who – Why – But Now

I was able to move from ‘who I am’, to ‘why I’m here’, and define my ‘but now I will’. Now I – looks ahead. Where I go from here. How I use who I am including all the good and bad to make a bright tomorrow – a better tomorrow. Don’t get stuck in your why, define your ‘who’ and link it to a bright future with a ‘but now…’ . Today is what remains of yesterday and your vision for tomorrow – What are you going to do now?

Have you followed your why with a but? Have you turned barriers into stepping stones or course corrections? Watched them disappear like the wind? Let me know how you see your future as brighter than your history. Are you ready to define who you are? Cast your vision and change your now.

Share your comments below, I would love to hear from you.  Share it with your friends.

©2016 Elayne Cross

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