Dear Ancestors,

I’ve been thinking about the adjectives I use to describe myself. Social media profiles set a character limit to describe ourselves, and we each have to decide what’s most important to our identity.

I think most things can be broken down into what we ARE, and what we DO… Thoughts vs Activities… Or maybe Choices vs Limits? Always vs Sometimes?

I’ve been brainstorming words that I think describe me in a way that might help me find more connections… Mom. Homeschooler. Wife. Descendant. Law school dropout. Friend. Wannabe librarian. Bibliophile (that sounds fancier than book-worm, right?). Knitter. Crocheter. Yalie. Roadrunner. Seamstress. Quilter. Kitten-fosterer. Overly-ambitious. Rebel. Audacious. Always cold. Snuggler. Suburbanite. Questioner. Interrupter. Impatient. Listener. Helper. Sister. Maker. Financial-Aid recipient sounds like a mouthful, but also has had a pretty huge impact on my identity… but then, so has my brown skin.

Ideally, I’d find people who wanna hang out and do the same things as me, and that can’t be that hard, right?

I made a list:

List of things I like to do.

I made this list while holding a cat who was demanding attention, (he clearly doesn’t think I do enough petting); maybe, for honesty’s sake, it should read HOLDING cats, not petting them. I also forgot to include listmaking, but maybe that can go under either plan or daydream.

Anyway… none of these really have much to do with who I am, or, more specifically, with who I see myself as, but they ARE the things I would want to list if I were looking for people to connect with on social media. I like following other book lovers, being inspired by various fiber artists, seeing cute kittens, etc.

The things on my list of things to do are the things I am SOMETIMES: maker. kitten-fosterer. friend. reader.

There are some things that I do all the time now, but becoming them was a choice, there was a part of my life when I wasn’t, so it’s still a sometimes, even though the times are long: SAHM. wife. pet-owner. homeschooler. agnostic.

The cliche is that we’re supposed to look at a person’s actions over words, but for some reason, (hmmm, I wonder why?) my brown-ness is what people ask about.

My experience as a person in a lot of “social” circles has LESS to do with what activities I like to do, and way more with what I look like to other people. Very rarely do fiber people (be they yarn or fabric) ask how I started sewing/knitting/quilting/etc, but I do get asked where I’m from. (HERE. Los Angeles. I currently live a whopping 7.5 miles from where I was born, 5.7 miles from my childhood home, but somehow that answer doesn’t seem to satisfy.)

Why is my ancestry so very important to other people? Why do they feel they need to know (let alone what gives them the audacity to ask) how I come by the melanin in my skin? Why can’t I be friends with someone without them asking about my parents or my grandparents?

Where are you from?

No, but where are you RRRREEEEAAAALLLY from?

Like, where were your people from?

or, worst of all…

What ARE you?