Jean Croker Petke

Your Name?

Your Name?

The Boy (nearly three-year-old grandson) and I were in the hall during worship — he needed a drink. While we were there, the assistant choir director (ACD) walked past. “This is my grandson,” I said by way of introduction. He looked down from his lofty 6′ 4″ height, waved at The Boy and said, “Hi!”

“Tell him what your name is,” I directed The Boy. He thought for a moment,
looked up at ACD and said with much certainty, “Batman!”

ACD didn’t bat an eye. “Nice to meet you, Batman!”

Of course, this became a ponderable and bloggable moment for me.

First of all, let me say that The Boy has a real name, but we and he affectionately refer to him as The Boy. And I have a policy of not using real names in this blog.

Secondly, calling himself Batman is how he sees himself sometimes. Perhaps he even believes he is Batman. Perhaps he dreams of being Batman. It’s difficult to know what’s really going through his mind. But he has the Batman moves and Batman books and Batman clothes. So who’s to say he isn’t really Batman.

All of which generates questions — for you — and for myself:

If your family and your employer and your world had not already told you who you are, what would you call yourself?

Who do you dream you could be?

In your imagination who are you?

In a moment of boldness, have you ever said, like The Boy, “I am . . . “

Why have you kept your identity a secret?

What keeps you from living the identity you want?

The questions are hard. They can mess with what you’ve always believed about yourself. But the questions are worth considering.

My perspective comes from having lived many decades. However, The Boy has caused me to rethink some things. If I was as bold and certain as he is, I would say:

I am a concert pianist 

Though I started playing piano when I was young, my passion for piano arrived late in my life. I have the persistence to become an accomplished pianist, but I lack the gifting to be a concert pianist. Choosing to play for others, which came very late in my life, is the closest I will come to being a concert pianist. I am good with that.

I am an author

I started journaling and writing poetry in my thirties. It wasn’t until my forties, when I began to write prose, that I actually called myself a writer. I have a memoir, and when it gets published, I’ll call myself an author. I am on my way.

So who are you?

Have you taken steps toward becoming who you dream of being? Or have you let others quash your dreams? Or have you quashed your dreams yourself, believing that you’re not capable or good enough or talented enough? What would it take for you to become the person you dream of becoming?

Becoming is always a process. You can grow into the identity you want.

Believe in yourself. Then take the first step.

It’s not too late to start.

Until next Tuesday. . .



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