By Joy M. England
We have all asked ourselves the infamous question of “who am I, why am I here, what
does it all mean? Well as we hurl ourselves down this journey of life—it feels more like a free
fall off of a cliff at times—we will come to answer our ever-looming question of just who we are
over and over.
In that current moment, the answer to who we are is profoundly important. It is all
those who am I’s that becomes the person, woman, mother, friend, wife, and career woman
that stands before you in the mirror today.
So many times, the answer of who am I made me shudder; it brought deep shame and
opened the floodgates for self-loathing talk that could marvel even the darkest minds. (I have
mastered the art of here is how you suck, let's count the ways” thinking). I carried these
answers as scars—proof if you will—that I was a lost cause. No matter how much I would
accomplish, nothing washed away all the many reasons I firmly believed made me inherently
flawed; it was this thinking that, sadly for decades of my life, forced me to answer the question
of “Who I am” with this answer: shattered.
I have come to love my I AM’s; they are my stripes, my badges, my reminders that I
never stop fighting, I never stop working, even when I believed I would never be worthy of
anything. There was a dim, almost extinguished, light that burned deep in the essence of who I
was created to be; that ever-so-quiet-but-steady light kept me pushing forward. Boy am I
thankful for that light, I can say now, as I type these pages to an audience that I am amazed will
exist one day. That my little light is now a beacon, guiding not only me, but all who I encounter
in this amazing, sometimes gnarly, journey of life.