I Am ___________ (fill in the blank)

 I Am ___________ (fill in the blank) 

 I Am ___________ (fill in the blank) hepatitis c
I’m just an ordinary chick.

Who I Am I have been upgraded. The blog has anyway. An overhaul was overdue. It had started as my story and kept growing and changing. Some of it did not work any longer. I had to find a bigger theme to get it all in. It needed to be reorganized. Some of my original stories were long winded and needed a little editing. This may take a few weeks. We’ll all just tie a knot and hang on.

It is still my story, but the pages will be moved and shifted till it all fits the new theme. That is kind of how life is. We all need an upgrade occasionally. To fix the bugs. You know how that works though; there may be a few more problems that are the result of an upgrade. Sometimes upgrades may cause new problems or even get rid of some stuff that we liked. One thing for sure: it can cause us the need to redefine what direction we are going. This is true of technology and people.

The new web page template has this blank box bearing the title: Who I Am. That is a loaded question. Is it talking about me? Or the website? One of my favorite quotes is by Bob Dylan: “All I can do is be me, whoever that is”. But my mind immediately wandered to an exercise I have used called “I am”. I have used it in a group setting Everyone is given a blank sheet of paper and asked to fill it with words that described their identity. Each word or phrase has to begin with the words “I Am”.

I Am ___________ (fill in the blank)

I did that exercise this morning and invite you to do it with me. Grab a pencil and let’s begin your list. It does not have to make sense, rhyme, or be read aloud. Come with me and let’s explore who we are today.  Just start jotting down words.

I am a learner. I am a teacher. I am cured of Hepatitis C. I am living in a body that is very sick with cirrhosis. I am doing my best to help it heal. I am alive because of modern medicine. I am grateful.

I am hungry for life. I am a thinker who feels deeply. I am more fun than a barrel of monkeys. I am a tender hearted nerd.

I am aware. I am a listener of music, an observer of nature, a reader of books, a flower picker. I am good at making eye contact. I am thinking about what you are thinking and saying. I am the least judgmental person you will ever meet.

I am trying to understand why I was put on the earth and why my life was interrupted by disease. I am tired. I am a lover who looks into another’s soul and wonders how our life connects. I am holding hands with everyone who laughs and cries. I am laughing and crying with them.

I am discovering who I am.

I am me with hepatitis c
I am me. I had Hepatitis C

Right now, I am wondering who YOU are? Even if you did not take out pencil and paper to do this exercise, you probably thought about it. Tell me you did. Lie to me. Maybe a few of our “I Am” sentences were alike. Maybe your day is filled with so much noise that you do not have time to think about such stuff. You may consider it nonsense. Stay with me on this…. Let’s think about this I AM business.

Occasionally we feel connected to ourselves through the people we are in relationship with. We are somebody’s mom, dad, son, or daughter. We are an employee, friend, or enemy. With close and loving relationships, that can be a joyous thing. I have been texting my daughter all day. She is a cool lady, and is fun to know. There are times though, when I need to break out and remember Who I Am apart from being her mom. Even though the love we have for family is strong, our identity is not totally shaped by that alone.

Sadly, a lot of our connection to our identity is related to our possessions. If we have a certain house, car, or job we allow that to define us. We think that if we live in a that size of house or so and so neighborhood, that surely we will feel better about ourselves. Or we feel that a sense of confidence is out of our reach as long as we are driving that piece of @!#* we call a car. We buy something, or lots of somethings, thinking that once we own it we will feel ___________ (fill in the blank)

Our clothing style can be an outward symbol to others, but it does not necessarily define us. I wear a “school teachery” look on the job. I also wear jeans or sweatpants. This week I wore a pair of shorts that are 15 years old to work in the garden. I have good heels, and love them! Most days my feet slide into shoes from the Old Navy annual flip flop sale. No matter what I am wearing, Who I Am remains the same.

Our family history plays a big part in how we perceive ourselves. To a certain extent, it does help shape who we are, but it does NOT put a stamp on us calling us: child of a banker, or son of an alcoholic, or even daughter of someone with Hepatitis C or cirrhosis. We can let go of the past and its ties to our present life. We all have an opportunity to be who we are TODAY because that is who we choose to be. That does not mean that our past family life does not affect us. It simply means that it does not have to define us.

I Am ___________ (fill in the blank)
I am me with Hepatitis C
I Am ___________ (fill in the blank)

Finishing up with one last thought, I want to add that we are always embracing the best of our past and letting go of the less than pretty parts. We are all moving toward becoming our best self. The smartest thing we do is to just be who we are every day. We can pay close attention to our strengths and accept our weaknesses. I am definitely working on it. Every day.

Even the Best Friend’s Guide to Hepatitis C is still evolving. It is going through an upgrade. Yes, an overhaul. I kept adding things that were fun and silly, like Youtubes. Gosh, I love to laugh. Then there are those quotes that lift my spirits or teach me a new way of looking at life, Hepatitis C, cirrhosis, or at myself. Some of the menus did not work any longer. I keep cooking and sharing YOUR recipes that will help us all to feel better. It took a bigger theme to get it all in. It needed to be reorganized. Some things were sifted out. It still has my pics that I love. The reminders of how far I have come are all stored in words that you may feel connected to.

A Best Friends Guide to Hepatitis C is a small piece of Who I Am. It is a piece of who YOU are as well. Change is a good thing. It is a sign that we are looking closely at who we are. It is a reminder that other people, possessions, clothing, or the past can never change the inner essence of our best self. Deep within we are marvelous creations. All that other stuff? Nah. It’s not who YOU are.

It’s not Who I Am.  Howeva, I AM your best friend in the battle, Karen:)

P.S. I’ve been listening to a book on CD by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer called It’s Never Crowded Along the Extra Mile. Just today he talked about how we think of ourselves in terms of I Am. He believes pretty much the way I think; we are all the essence of God. Created by Him. Thought I would share that. I love Audible.com and put my books on CD over to itunes allatime. Told you I was a nerd.

pic via my front yard, magnalus.com, my grandkids,

About Karen Hoyt

Karen Hoyt offers a no nonsense approach to living with Cirrhosis. A Hepatitis C treatment survivor, she created a liver loving diet and lifestyle that allows her to create awareness and advocate for her Best Friends at http://www.ihelpc.com