I’ve always believed that our jobs shouldn’t define us. That is, if someone were to ask me to introduce myself, then the following sentence “I’m an educator” shouldn’t form the first and main part of my introduction. While our jobs take up a huge part of our daily existence and we sometimes spend more time with our colleagues and jobs than the people who truly matter, I still firmly believe that it should not entirely define us. Our jobs are what we are at that point in time but take away that role from ourselves, then these questions remain: Who are you? What makes you, You?
Those were the questions that I found myself grappling with during these first three of January. Frankly, I didn’t expect this aspect to feature itself in this transitional phase I’m experiencing. However as I stripped away the labels of an educator and a working professional – identities that had assumed a huge part of myself during the past few years – I found other parts of myself making itself more prominent than ever.
If I’m not defined by my job, then what are the aspects that makes me, Me, no matter what stage in life I am in? Some of the things I’ve ascertained so far:
My role as a Muslim, a daughter and a sister forms 100% of my identity. These identities and its accompanying responsibilities occupy all of my daily existence. This a huge reminder for me regarding the priorities in life and which aspects to never compromise no matter how preoccupied I can get with work, school or other matters.
The Quran is a book I need to connect with everyday. With God’s grace, I was re-introduced to this Book back in my teens, fell in love with it and since then, it has been a book I read on a daily basis. During those days when I’m unable to read or touch it, I feel as though something isn’t right and that a huge part of me is missing. The Quran forms a huge part of who I am and I pray that He continues blessing me with a love and opportunities to connect with it always.
Striving to achieve a better version of myself forms a huge part of my life purpose. The motivation to continuously seek to be a better version of myself stems from the belief that as a Muslim, one should seek to be progressive and to excel in whatever we do. Those are the traits that this faith inculcates through its teachings and core tenets. At the end of the day, this aspect of myself plays a huge influence on the choices I make in life as well as how I interact with the people around me.
Three things for now but that took me three weeks to truly uncover. Nevertheless, it’s been a pretty exciting three weeks of getting to know myself better and it seems like the next two years are set to raise the bar even higher.
So, what else makes me, Me?
And, what makes you, You?