Who Are You?

I met someone new yesterday, she was new to the Middle East but not to the blog. She’d been reading since she’d first heard she was coming to Doha.

“You need to have a better ‘about‘ page. It doesn’t tell us enough about you.”

I just about spat my coffee out through my giggles.

“Oh god, I already write a personal blog. Isn’t that enough? Aren’t you sick of me already? Plus, what would I say? How do you suggest I describe myself?”

Have you ever thought about how you describe yourself? Which words you use? Have you ever thought about who you really are and tried to throw it all in a paragraph? Sure, career wise it’s easy – an employment history, a list of skills.

I often hear women describe themselves as mothers, wives, girlfriends and sisters. If you read the ‘about’ page of a personal blog many women will have explained their marital status, number of children, and current work situation within the first paragraph. 

I’m a SAHM with a  gorgeous husband and three beautiful children living in a handmade mud brick home in the hills

Food blogs, style blogs, adoption blogs, fertility blogs – they all come with explanations.  

Who am I?  I have no set philosophies, no rules. The more I’ve travelled the more confusing it has become. I boxed this morning, gloves up around my ears, with a woman in a headscarf. I thought of my neighbour in Australia, a doctor, standing in her blue bikini having a conversation on the beach. So much skin. And then yesterday, a text from a girlfriend “Do you think I should have my shoulders completely covered for the dinner next week”  I had no idea.

Career wise I’m a writer who still dreams of returning to the corporate world but doesn’t want to give up the school run just yet. I’d love to continue doing freelance work, to get better at it so I can sit on the softball/soccer/basketball bleachers at 4 in the afternoon, and make time for a conference call at 8 that evening. Like many parents I dream of flexible working hours. I love watching my children play sport, seeing them interact with their friends, it truly is one of my greatest joys. But that’s not who I am, that’s just something I enjoy.

Who are you when you’re sitting in the car alone at the traffic lights? Who are you when you’re flicking absently through a magazine waiting to see the doctor? Who are you when you’re talking to someone you have absolutely nothing to gain from? Who are you then?

Expat couples travel in a collective ‘we’.

We moved here with…

We’ve been here for…

We arrived here from…

I have to concentrate to change my we to an I.

Who am I?

I’m a woman who enjoys a chat, and feels the best life lessons arrive over a coffee or a glass of wine with someone new. I’m a woman who is going back to University at age 45 (!) I am an unrealistic optimist who cries most days over something touching she’s heard in a podcast. I am a woman with unfinished business in Asia. A woman who wonders about the clock that she accidentally left behind on a wall in a house in Tripoli. A woman who smiles fondly when she thinks of a girlfriend wearing a dress she gave to her when she left Canada.

Maybe that’s who I am. Do you know who you are?


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  1. vani saraswathi says

    Started a comment, ended with a post: http://ummon.wordpress.com/2014/02/19/who-are-you-she-asked/

  2. Dear Kirsty, I just went and did the same thing. Started as a comment and ended with a post:
    You just keep on inspiring us. 😉

  3. Lucy Mulvany says

    Kirsty, you are a woman driven by a boundless interest in other people, who asks nitty gritty questions with charismatic charm, and you genuinely listen to and are fascinated by the answers you get. Because you really want to know what makes people tick. In turn, people want to know about YOU. xx

  4. Hi Kirsty, I’ve been following your blog for a while and just want to pass on how much I am enjoying it. This most recent post struck me as I have just settled my kids back in school and my husband into a new job here in Melbourne (I’m American). Suddenly, the spotlight seems to be on me… what is my next step? Which of course begs the question, who am I? Thank you for some insight! (www.fivedownunder.com)

  5. Kristina Moffitt says

    Nope. I am single, no kids, working in a field I love but am burnt out. I am not doing anything I thought I would at this time (age) of my life. Nothing.

  6. Oh yes the about page, how many times have I re written that.
    Who am I? I am a deep thinking life junkie, yes I cannot get enough of this thing we call life. i am crazy sometimes and I like to think I hide it well and also wish I wouldn’t. I have a very tight comfort zone and want to break it apart most of the time. I love to write, I love to take photos, I love pretty things, I think a lot and then I write about it. I over analyse and then over react. I love deeply and forget to show it. I want the best for everyone I meet and even those I will never meet, I do all I can to live well and inspire others to do the same.
    I am Karen, a very proud Aussie and passionate Mum, wife, sister, daughter and friend. Pleased to meet you.

  7. Dear Kirsty, I’m a work in progress, still trying to work out what to be when I grow up. And I went back to uni at 42 and its awesome. Except when there’s an assignment deadline. Then, not so much…..


  1. […] It wasn’t a meme or a tag, but that’s such an interesting question I decided to do a post instead of leaving a comment on Shamozal’s blog. […]

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