The way I am

What am I? Or who am I? For years when talking to new people I’d call myself a landscape architect. My study defined who I was. Now I still often tell people I was schooled to be a landscape architect, and that right now I’m an environmental coach for a company that processes trash.

But this is what I do, not who I am. How come does your education or the job you do define who you are?

I’m blown away with this very simple thought. Who am I really? And if I find out, would I then use this in my next conversation with a person I just met? So many questions, so little answers.

Thinking back to my years in school I have to admit that these years helped me shape myself. I learned a lot about plants, Dutch landscapes and geology. Without my studies I wouldn’t have this wide range of knowledge of the nature around me.

So I could say I really love nature, but is it then correct to say: “Hi, I’m Marlies and I’m a nature lover.” I suspect that people just start to laugh if I would introduce myself like that. And is it this simple? Nature lover doesn’t cover who I am either.

I’m weird, caring and loving, a little bit lazy, mildly intelligent and a bit of a dork. Reading this back it sounds a bit negative but I’m happy with the person that I am. The last few years I’ve gotten to know myself a lot better. I quit trying to be someone that I can’t be. I’ve learned to accept me for who I am. I’m still working on learning what my pitfalls are and how to overcome them.

So this list characteristics make me who I am, but I guess this is not what people would like to hear when meeting for a first time. I know for sure that I want to let go of my landscape architect title. It’s just an education that I finished 10 years ago.

Nowadays I’m focussed on educating people, or at least I’m trying to make them think. My job at the moment comes down to trying to motivate people to recycle. When I’m writing my blogs I’m sharing my experiences and ideas, hoping that others will be inspired reading my words. Heck, I think I found my new personal description.

I think I would like to call myself a nature and environment educator.

I now have the heading to the new chapter of my life. I think it will be a great way to open up conversation with any new person I meet. Goodbye landscape architect, hello nature and environment educator.

‘Cause I am whatever you say I am

If I wasn’t, then why would I say I am?

In the paper, the news, every day I am

I don’t know, it’s just the way I am

~Eminem

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