For sure, This American Life is at the top of my list. The Moth is a close second.
There's another great show out there called This I Believe - it's short essays written by random people on various pieces of their life. I thought of that show this weekend as I was helping edit my niece's college application essays and was thinking about how I would answer the question in her essay - Who am I? If this were for the show This I Believe, it might just be the most boring and convoluted show they ever made....
WHO AM I?
I'm almost 40 years old - I should have a pretty solid answer to this.
My manager at my new(er) job once told me - always have your elevator speech ready. If someone asks you about your job in the elevator, you need to be prepared to speak to what your role is for the entire elevator ride. Be prepared. Always have an elevator speech.
I don't have my elevator speech ready to define who I am. That's a pretty big question...maybe one I will always be changing.
For nearly half of my life, I have defined myself by "I am a single parent." And though I am still single, and I will forever be a parent, I really don't define myself that way anymore. Except when I look at my pathetic bank account and non-existent retirement fund and then I remind myself that it's okay..cause I'm a single mom. I can choose to send my son to college, or I can save for retirement. Single mom choices...and I have chosen to invest in my son, not my future goal to end working at a particular age. I am a single parent - but my Andrew is an amzing young man, out in the world on his own, doing amazing as always. He just doesn't need me as much...
My new elevator speech about Who Am I would have to mention that I am a therapeutic foster parent. Even though I only have a child about six days a month, and the required meeting 1-2x a month, my life feels more complete now that I can share my experiences. It's such a rewarding part of my life. I haven't been volunteering much - I have too unpredictable of a work schedule right now - but having a foster child is definitely filling the void.
In my Who Am I thoughts, I try not to include that I'm a person who has heart disease. It's difficult though, as I honestly think about my heart at least five times a day (maybe 50). That's down from 65 times, so I'm making progress. My friend told me the other day about how Rosie O'Donnell was hosting a tv show the other day and brought up her heart issue (the exact same kind that I had) MANY times during the show, and my friend thought of me. I feel bad, as I know that my friends were just overwhelmed with how much I brought it up last year, but I know exactly what Rosie is going through. It's such a huge shift to go from being "normal" to being someone whose most important organ nearly stopped working without warning. I had rarely ever stopped and thought about how my heart felt before my heart incident, but now I can't remember a day in the last 18 months that I have not thought about it multiple times a day. So as much as I would like to not include this in my elevator speech - I probably would have to.
I'd also add that I'm a bit of a crazy cat lady. I love my cats!!! They have been so sweet and cuddly lately! I have to refrain from talking about them every day. I recognize that nobody else cares about them as much as I do.
So - to recap:
Who Am I?
- I am a single mom to my wonderful and amazing Andrew.
- I am a therapeutic foster parent.
- I am a closeted crazy cat lady.