Today, I woke up with an age old question tormenting my thoughts. “Who am I?” I searched for an answer during my morning routine, and through my hour-plus drive to the office. I thought of how I would describe myself to a stranger.
Well, I could say I’m a sister, a wife and an author. Hmm … snooze. At home I’m full-time maid, chief dishwasher and sometime cook. I’m also Mom, Nani, Nicole and occasionally Sunshine to my husband when I do something especially good.
Oh, I know. I AM AMERICA! Now that’s more like it. No seriously, I’m convinced that I have a trace of every known ethnic group in this mixed up blood of mine and that’s not a bad thing. I am also Aries. Symbolized by the Ram (that explains a lot), ruled by Mars and yes, I had to look that up.
I’ve been called Hey You, Excuse Me and Look Out! I am friend to few, foe to many. Err … I think I got that backwards. I am Old Lady to the young and Whippersnapper to my elders. I am the one that got away and the one some wish would go away. I’m Mean to my children when they don’t get their way and sometimes I’m the You after Thank. I am Trinity from the Matrix but only at costume parties and some nights when I’ve had too much wine. I’m a constant minority within an occasional majority and I’m not sure what that means exactly but it sounded poetic.
I was Five Cents throughout my childhood. You know, Nicole — Nickel — Five Cents, get it? Yeah, slightly lame, but true. I am Nikki to my big sis, Titi to my nieces, Cream Puff to my cousin and Nickum to my grandfather. I was Darling Daughter to Dad and am Vellón (bay-yone) to my bro, Ruben. That’s the Puerto Rican term for Nickel. Yup, called Nickel in two different languages. YAY ME!
I was once called Carmen for eight hours by an old boss even though I kept correcting him. I quit that day. I’m often Marti, Marnique, Kiana, Alia and sometimes Tyrone to my mother, depending on how distracted she is. Can’t quit her though.
I am happy, I am slightly insane and I am Fred Gritt, but only on Facebook. I am an astronaut. Okay, I’m not an astronaut, but I want to be one. I am a supermodel. HA … I further jest! I’m not saying I couldn’t be one, I’m saying I wouldn’t be one. I love cheeseburgers entirely too much.
I’m inventive, imaginative and creative but I must say it has never really paid off. I mean, with all of the birthday parties, bridal showers, baby showers, graduations, random events and special occasions I’ve planned and executed for others, I have yet to be thrown an incredible birthday party of my very own. That’s right, I’m talking to YOU! I know you’ve tried but DANG IT, TRY HARDER! I am emotional (see above rant), oversensitive and sometimes unforgiving but I’m working on that. Still.
I am dependable when I can remember what you asked me to do and I am loyal until you tick me off. I’m selfish when it comes to Almond Joy’s but generous when it comes to pickled pigs feet. (You can have ‘em all!) I’m lover and lecturer, loser, winner, jokester and jester. I know the last two basically have the same meaning but it ain’t easy being witty with words. I’m a go getter yet sometimes I’m totally fascinated by the couch and have to lay on it all day so I don’t miss anything it does. I am hero and horsey to the grand’s, ATM to the sons and taxi to every non-driving teen in the neighborhood. I’ve been excited and disappointed, and I’ve even been both of those at the same time. I’ve been daring and (gulp) spineless. Oh, that reminds me. Hey Veronica, remember the time in ninth grade when that pit-bull jumped out at us and I sorta pushed you at him and ran? Yeah … sorry about that, buddy.
I am attitude and innovation and hair, oh so much hair. But still I am more. I am woman hear me roar! Wait, don’t lions roar? I must be a lion too. I am EVERYTHING BABY! Okay, so that’s a bit much but you get the picture.
Well, I’m nearly at the end and I still haven’t figured out exactly who I am. I do know that my abs need tightening and my tushy needs fluffing but I’m working on that. Still. I also know that I kinda like me, whoever she is, despite the fact that I hardly know her at all. In fact folks, I hope I never know me completely and you should hope the same for yourself. “HUH?” You might say. Well, just think about it. If we knew everything there was to know about ourselves then there would be no more room left to grow. Without growth there would be no me, no you, no us. With that said, I think I finally know who I am. I am without doubt, completely, exclusively and irreplaceably ME!
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