Sometimes the Simplest Question is the Hardest to Answer

The hardest question for me to answer isn’t found on any test paper; nor is it posed as I sit across the table from a potential employer. It’s a question I have asked myself over and over again because, unlike generic test questions, the answer to this question isn’t standard. And even though I’ve spent more time with myself than anyone else, I continue to stumble when I ask myself this question: Who am I?

I know I’m not alone in my confusion. It’s a question that takes many women a long time to discover. From the time we were little girls we’ve been bombarded with voices that told us what we ought to be and how a girl is supposed to act. Sure, some of those voices were well-intended and carried a lot of wisdom and love, but a lot of noise drowned out these loving voices and because they were so loud, we adopted them as truth.

So, back to the question: Who am I?

Well, I am a woman, mother, wife, daughter, sister…actually, let me start over.
I am…
(Blank stare)
Why is this question so difficult to answer? It seems like a simple question, but it isn’t.

The truth is that all of these are just roles I play. They aren’t who I am at the core. But society will always make judgments about me based on how good of a mother I am to my kids – “good” being relative – how happy my husband is, how attractive I am as a woman, and how much time I spend with my family.

In a previous post I wrote about how our self-esteem as women is under attack from the time we start learning to read and write because of the labels society places on us. Perhaps we should do away with labels altogether. There’s got to be a way to describe myself without roles and labels.

Take Two…

 Vimbai is the name my parents settled on when I was born some 37 years ago. It had a nice ring to it so I decided to keep it. I am a woman – wait, isn’t that a label? So now I wonder if it’s even possible to define myself without giving a description that sounds more like a profile.

Maybe labels aren’t the problem. Maybe it’s the fact that I have subconsciously allowed them to define me. Labels that constantly remind me of my inadequacies are so loud in my ear, and yet the only label that should matter is the one my Creator placed on me when he formed me.

So, who am I?

I am Vimbai E. Chikomo, and I am enough.

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