What Defines You?

It can happen at any time in your life. It might be a single day, or even a birthday. It could be a birthday on a significant year like 10, 20, 40, 60, or even 80. It is that moment when you ask yourself, “Who am I really?”

What defines you? What is it that makes you the unique individual you are?

At ten, it is your passion for school, friends, and likely some toy or collection of toys. It could also be our interest in a subject that we announce to the world as our future job description. “Tommy loves airplanes.” “Sally wants to be an astronaut.” “Malik is so friendly and outgoing, I just know he’s going to be class president.” “Amy is going to be in the World Cup some day, I just know it.”

At twenty, life gets complicated. You are defined by your education, your work experience, what little you may have, and, in a twisted sense, what you will be when you grow up. Decisions at twenty may define you for the rest of your life. You may think it is all about the last call for playtime, but these are the years that make or break those ten year old dreams and passions.

At thirty, responsibility weighs heavy on those passions. They define you. You are the renter, the mortgage payer, the employee, the parent, the spouse, the partner, the worker, the bill payer. Any ten year old fantasies of the future are shoved under the load of bills stacked on your desk.

At forty, you are still the bearer-of-responsibility, but life is a little different, maybe. If you let it. You now understand the balance of time, money, and energy. Bills are mostly paid and you’ve learned to do with enough plus save a little bit more. You take days off rather than work yourself into a complete collapse, and appreciate the downtime, even though you may still shove it full with a list of never-ending tasks.

At fifty, the bearer-of-responsibility has an even greater appreciation of time, money, and energy, and the lack of each one. Balance shifts and you want more free time, but work still must pay the bills.

At sixty, you see a light at the end of the working tunnel and your priorities shift and change. If you had kids, most are either out of the house or rebounding. Money is usually figured out, what little you may have, and you are now more interested in what you are doing outside of work as much as you are in work itself. You are more involved in the community, more generous with sharing your time and energy, and if health permits, starting to pay more attention to what your body needs to keep going another few decades.

At seventy, time, money, and energy have now shifted. You are more selective about your interests, more patient with yourself and others. Health issues become more important, as does family. And this continues through to end of life.

Do these things define you? Are they representative of who you are? What happened to the astronaut, pilot, class president, and soccer player? What happened to your education that was supposed to take you further? What happened to the employee who served their company so well for many years? Are these who you are – or were?

Does your age define you? Do you define your age? Does your work define you? Or did you define your work? Does your hobby define you or do you define your hobby? Does your family define you or did you define your family?

What defines you? Blog about it? Share it.
How does that which defines you change how you blog? Does it? How? Tell us.

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