Take a look at this photo. Go ahead, a nice long glance. Now tell me what do you see? I mean beyond the obvious remarks about handsome, fantastic photography skills, and impressive beard. Who is this guy? Who am I?
My wife tells me I have an irritating stubborn phlegmatic personality. I am an emotionally detached person, not sure why, but it is at the core of who I am. Seldom do I find myself ruled by how I feel, nor do I rely upon my emotions. Except when it comes to anxiety. I do fight anxiety several times a year, and unfortunately it does sometimes win. Personally I wouldn't use the word phlegm to describe myself. Instead I would say I am emotionally grounded, calm, and all around stable. I am stubborn, but I like to think that makes me free.
Freedom is important to me. I need space to be me. Not to be the me my wife thinks I am, or the me you think I am, or the me that everyone else thinks I am. Free to be just me, nothing more nothing less.
Which brings us back to the who am I query.
These first two months of 2014 have been months of introspection for me. Thinking, thinking, and some more thinking on who I am as a person, or rather who I want to be as a person.
Let's see if we can figure out the puzzle that is Johnny Lee Brooks with a list. I hate lists, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do:
Who I Am
- I am human. Duh.
- I am a husband.
- I am a father.
- I am a Brooks. (Meaning I am from a particular family in a particular place.)
- I am a reader.
- I am a watcher. Movies, television, people, animals, pretty much anything.
- I am an American.
- I am a Libertarian.
- I am a missionary. Much as I hate to admit it sometimes, I am following Jesus in a culture not my own. Therefore I am a missionary, the Bearded Missionary.
Who I Am Not
- I am not an animal.
- I am not a religionist.
- I am not a good friend.
- I am not a builder.
Now if we add the top column, subtract the bottom, round to 15, and take out all the ugly numbers we come up with; me.
The answer to my question, Who am I?, is simply, I am me.
I can live with that.