This weekend, I submitted a short story to a “small magazine with an international reputation” and part of the submission process was to submit a short biographical statement.
I was stumped.
Honestly, writing a piece, having it critiqued (repeatedly) by my peers and instructors, and editing it (repeatedly) was easier than coming up with a biographical statement.
In the end, I wrote something that on reflection seems flip because it’s not necessarily how I identify myself. Or maybe it is.
I’ve been struggling with the concept of identity for some time – writing a post back in 2017 about how I no longer had a neat label for society to put me in a valued/not valued category.
I wonder if this is the true fall out from the empty nest syndrome – for more than 20 years, I was first and foremost mom. I wanted that role, I loved it (puke and all), and I still miss having little humans around me.
Case in point: I went to a party in April and found the people I spent the most time with to be under the age of 2!
I am still a mom and I get to be a part of my children’s lives in meaningful ways. I am a wife. I do archaeological research. I garden (begrudgingly). I do a lot of laundry.
But who am I?
Part of my biographical statement was: I hate to train but I love finish lines. I hate to fly but I love to travel.
Those are true – I do not love training to walk in races, and I’m not even sure that I love the whole race itself. I do love a finish line though. Hubby is there after riding to various checkpoints to inspire me, a nice heating blanket is offered (I don’t seem to race in the good weather!), and we always find a celebratory food item I can consume.
I do love to travel, though with celiac, it’s proven more difficult. I like my own house and my own bed, but I love a good beach and once I’m out there, I love to see the world. Flying is not my favourite thing, but at the end of each flight, there’s always something good.
But, can I define myself, create my biographical statement, based on what I hate contrasted with what I love?