Hello! My name is… Brenda.

I’m a 30 something mother of four children. We’re kind of an alphabet family. My used-to-be husband’s name starts with an A. Mine with a B. So we continued the trend. C is ten, D is eight, E six, and F is five.

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I wash dishes (sometimes). I do laundry. I cook. I run errands. I write. I dabble in amateur photography and graphic design. I am currently job hunting.

But these are all just things I do. Some of them are my jobs. Some are hobbies. But they are not who I am.

In the TV series, Heroes, Peter carries on a conversation with Mohinder that goes like this:

Peter Petrelli: What’s your name?

Mohinder Suresh: Mohinder.

Peter Petrelli: I’m Peter. Let me ask you something, Mohinder. Do you ever… get the feeling like you were meant to do something extraordinary?

Mohinder Suresh: I’m driving a cab, you may have noticed.

Peter Petrelli: No, I’m not talking about what you do. I’m talking about who you are.

My point is, I am not wife. I am not mom. I am not housekeeper, cook, teacher, writer, or anything else. I do these things. Some of them I love doing. Some I hate doing. But none of these things are me. I am more than what I do.

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My childhood was full of sad times, happy times, hard times, easy times. My adult years have also been a mix of ups and downs. I’ve been hurt, abused, misled, betrayed. I’ve been abandoned by those I needed most. I’ve had my heart ripped in two as I learned that my husband had been unfaithful for years. My reality has been shattered over and over again.

But this is not who I am. I am not defined by what others have done to me.

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Motherhood often makes me feel stressed, inadequate, fat, and ugly. Housekeeping makes me feel like a complete failure in life. Divorce makes me feel unwanted and unworthy of love. Writing, playing with my camera, designing graphics, and other creative ventures often make me feel apprehensive and inferior.

But these are only feelings. This is not who I am.

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Who am I really? I am curious, contemplative, and creative. I question every bit of life. I seek to find deepness in existence. I contemplate the rawness and beauty of this world and all that’s in it. Then I take the questions I’ve asked, the deepness I’ve found, and I create in words or pictures what my soul has discovered. This is me.

You will not find me at the front of the line, leading the world to victory. You will not find me in the center of attention at the party of the year. You will not find me building towers and cities.

No. You will find me quietly contemplating life in the corner, occasionally voicing the black coffee thoughts that percolate in my head.

That’s me. And I like me.