Who Am I?
The question on everybody's noggins...
Who am I? Wouldn’t you like to know!
Nah, sorry, that actually works out well. I’m just figuring it out now, and would love to share.
I hope it’s okay that some of what I respond with here will be a little dubious, though.
Figuring out who you are can be as difficult as figuring out who a potato is.
It seems easy and I actually thought I already had it figured out. But then about a month ago I was thrown into a slight identity crisis when a mindset coach asked me to go away and answer these three simple questions about myself:
Who am I?
What am I here to do?
What would I love to happen?
It was as if she wasn’t at all satisfied with my earlier responses to questions about my “brand”, Comfort is for Wimps. She wanted to know what it is exactly that I do. She wanted to know what I am actually trying to do. And lastly, what I think I should be doing with it. My answers were bumbling and aberrant, and while she was tremendously encouraging and patient me, the homework said it all:
Go away and figure out who you are and then let’s talk again.
At first I had a kind of typical and naive Jess response to things. Like, despite my inability to articulate any sort of real sense about my ambitions, I left the call feeling motivated and pumped about my future. This is because I thought all I had to do was work out how to articulate myself better, but after about a week of trying to answer these unexpectedly intricate questions, I was, well I was triggered wasn’t I.
I became a bit down and out about the sudden mishmash of confusion, disappointment and dissatisfaction I had in myself. Not least the path I’d been going down the last couple of years with Comfort is for Wimps.
At the crux of it, I uncovered a bit of a value disconnect between my perception of myself and the reality of who I am. I came to realise that I’ve been awkwardly trying to be someone that I absolutely am freakin’ not. It turns out that girl been lyin’ to ‘erself and it made her miserable.
If you’re interested in learning about personal values and how they influence your whole entire fricken life, this article is epic. But in short, I’ve been ignoring some of my true values because my surroundings have kind of influenced me into holding false values. Values that I wish I had, of which I really don’t have.
For example, I wish I was an intellectual and valued really smart stuff. In my life, I am fortunate enough to be surrounded by some highly intellectual and inspiring minds. But just like I used to do with the cool girls in the school yard, I have been pretending I’m one of them. Pretending I’m interested in high-brow, psychological, philosophical or political subjects. When actually, honestly, I’d rather be spending my time philosophising about what to buy at the supermarket next visit.
Seriously, if my Instagram stories don’t sum up the things I care about, I don’t know what does.
If you’ve been “following” me for a while, which I think anyone reading this probably has, you might have some sort of clue about the fact that I like to write. I have, after all, kept this bloggy thing chugging along since 2014. The whole theme of the writing has been around this idea of, spoiler alert, comfort being for wimps. Which, essentially, turned into a series of principles or rules or whatever, by which I live my life.
And that part is great. It’s been seriously transformational for me, as it’s compelled me to have many, many experiences I unlikely would have had otherwise. It’s been a razzle-dazzle ride indeed.
It started with things like naked yoga and weird dating events, moved into travel and interactions with people from other cultures. Then a bit of public speaking stuff and stand-up comedy. It’s basically been a series of updates as I naively navigate my way through the world. All the while having this sort of subtle thread of self-reflection woven throughout.
Of late, however, I feel like I’ve been taking a bit more of a “self-help” approach to my content, trying to figure out how to share my journey going from an ignorant and unconfident little twit, to a person who can write a book with conviction about, like, not being that anymore.
Alas, what I’m finding is that this little path of pretending I’m some sort of intellectual expert in the subject of personal growth is making me, well, a bit cringeworthy really. I’ve been posting these self-helpy type posts on my Instagram and they’re getting like 2 likes compared to the 20+ likes I get on content which is far more authentically me.
The fact is, I’m not even close to being acknowledged or identified as someone who you’d turn to to help you get your shit together.
I’m not perceived to be some quirky, comfort zone breaching self-help guru.
Why would I think I want to write a book about it?
I’m an imposter, in the most literal sense.
I think what’s happened is this.
My ambition to be successful and influential and famous has got all tangled up in:
- My angst to keep the Comfort is for Wimps brand alive
- My longing to write and publish and sell a book
- My day job in the industry of, you guessed it, self-help
My curveball has been that I really like self-help. It’s personally “helped” me a lot, so I feel like I owe it one.
The “negative” self-help corner of the industry which I work in is particularly wicked cool. And I thought that I could take all the self-help knowledge I’ve been soaking up throughout my life, regurgitate it in my own unique Comfort is for Wimps style, and change the lives of millions of other ignorant and unconfident little twits.
But I don’t even want that. That’s not who I am. That’s not my jam. Here’s one more rhyming sentence that’s just spam.
I love helping people but usually only if they ask for it. Like, I give to charity, I offer emotional support to friends, I’m always open to skill sharing.
I’m not a fan of helping old ladies across the street because it’s cliché but I’ll do it if asked.
So with that all said, who am I? What am I here to do? What would I love to happen?
Well, I think the first clear thing I’ve settled on is that my true calling is in assisting people to have fun and feel good, as opposed to inspiring them to suck less.
Whether this is cooking tremendously delicious food for people I love, telling stories or offering emotional support to friends. Bringing people together for social events, writing enthusiastically about things I find interesting or forgetting my dignity when I want to make my nephews laugh. It’s also getting lost in an improv class or performing a comedy set on stage… It don’t matter what, I basically just like to entertain.
I love the spotlight. I love creativity. I love performance. I love putting on a show. I love making people happy. One of my greatest joys is being responsible for people having fun and feeling good.
Thus, who am I?
I am an entertainer.
What am I here to do?
I am here to spread joy, laughter and perform, whether that’s personally or professionally.
What would I love to happen?
I would love to have a successful career as a performer.
I feel silly writing that at the ripe age of 35 and a quarter, I’d like to make people laugh for a living. But fuck it, I’ve always wanted to be an actress. Always have, always will. Whether it happens or not is another story, but the simple act of committing to it as a hobby is a great place to start.
Just alerting you about the announcement below.
I’m getting back into stand-up comedy! But this post is long enough, so I’m not going to hit you with anything heavy about it here. We’ll delve into it next time. For now, you can just know that I’ve been shamelessly walking around talking to myself a lot lately, as I practice my new set.
And here is, for you my dear, loyal reader, a little peak at one of my most recent shows. I’m not Sarah Silverman or nothin’, but I am improving!
That’s it from me. Over and out, chicos.
Oh! Before you go!
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