I’m not sure if this post will make any sense; it’s one that I came up with when I was running, mostly to distract myself from realizing I was running. (Yeah, I can’t think about running while I’m running or else I instantly feel like I’m going to pass out and stop.)
Well, that being said, I don’t tell people I’m a runner. I tell them that I run. Putting the “er” on the end of it and using it to describe myself feels too serious. When I think of a “runner” I think of someone who can run miles and miles at a time and think marathons are easy—although I know that marathons are grueling. When I think of a “runner” I don’t think of someone with exercise-induced asthma trying her best to make it another lap around the track to finish a mile.
The same goes for describing myself as a writer. I say that I write. When I think of a “writer” I think of Stephen King or JK Rowling. I think of someone whose entire career is writing. Or even journalists because they write, too. But I don’t think of someone who works on fiction stories here and there in Google Docs at night when she’s laying in bed on her phone.
Maybe I’m selling myself short.
The same could be said of an artist, singer, designer, actor, dancer, and the list goes on. I did gymnastics for six years, and I would never consider myself a gymnast. I was just a girl who did gymnastics.
But in a weird way, maybe I am all of those things. I am a runner, because what do you call someone who runs? I am a writer, because what do you call someone who writes? (The same thing can be said of being a blogger, because I have a blog and write posts.)
I feel like if we describe ourselves as something, we either have to be really good at it or prove ourselves to others. If I say I’m a runner, I feel like I can’t tell people I only run a mile. I’d rather tell people I’m a jogger, but in that case, I start picturing the moms from the 1980s who powerwalked with leg warmers and big hair.
To ask the title of this blog again, when do you become something? Is it something you just embrace over time? I doubt anyone is going to come crown me a runner or a writer. Or a former gymnast. I need to have confidence in my abilities and tell people I’m a runner—not just someone who runs—and tell them I’m a writer—not just someone who writes.