This is slightly related to a post I wrote recently. That post, however, was an immediate response to Catherine Nichols' Homme de Plume, whereas this is something I've been mulling over for a long time. Most of my life, I suppose.
I am a softball player. That is an undeniable part of my identity. For a long time, it seemed like the only part. Yes, I have always loved reading and writing, but like many writers, I possessed the disinclination to call myself one—as though I had not yet earned the title.
I have been playing softball for seventeen years. There has always been a step up that I was working toward—working toward 14u from 12u, toward 18u from 16u, and always toward college, vying for that coveted scholarship. I knew it would end someday, but someday seemed like a long time from the present.
Now I am a senior in college facing my final season of softball. It is very real now that my softball career is nearly over. I will always be a ball player, but after this year I will no longer wear the jersey. An integral part of my identity will be stripped away.
So who will I be then?
Will I be a writer, though I have not yet published a book? Will I be an East Tennesseean, though I spend only summers there, and possibly not even that in the foreseeable future? Will I be a Camel, though I'll have graduated Campbell University after spending only two years there?
This post is not meant to instruct or even to seek out an answer. It is merely reflective. I am at a time in my life (one many or all of you have previously encountered or are experiencing yourselves) in which I am malleable. I am changing. I have the opportunity to reshape myself.
What shape will I choose? And who will I be if I continue to deny myself identifying tags such as "writer" because I feel in some vague way I do not deserve them?
Has anyone else experienced this? Share your two cents. As I said, I'm not looking for a "solution," just reflecting. I'd love to hear what you all have to say on the topic.