David Hitt is…

OK, a favor request, if you would be so kind…

For those of you who have been on Facebook for a while, remember when they changed the way the statuses worked? Back in the olden days, your status had to always start with “is.” The box popped up “David Hitt is” (well, if you were me, it did, which you’re not, so substitute your name for mine). Finally, they changed it, though, because it was too limiting. It was too tough to shoehorn everything into that “state of being” format.

I read somewhere — and am not sure if this is true, and am too busy at the moment to verify it — that the psychological screening for the original Mercury astronauts included something in that format. If I recall correctly what I read — which, again, I’m not vouching for — part of the test was to make a list of 50 statements beginning with “I am…” “I am a pilot,” perhaps. “I am an American.” Etc. Do you know who you are enough to be able to make 50 statements like that? And without having to say what you do, or switch to other formats. “I run marathons” or “I like cheese” would be out. Only what “I am…”

I thought about that test after my divorce, realizing that had I ever made that list, it would have changed substantially. I don’t know exactly how many of the 50 items would have changed, but a lot of the ones near the top would have. It drove home that my very identity had shifted.

What I should have done upon that realization was to have made the list again, to define for myself exactly who I am. But I didn’t. A year ago I had a conversation about essentially that topic, and made the argument that it was, at that point in time, still very much in flux, that I was still very much figuring out and establishing some of it.

But someone made the same argument a couple of weeks ago, that a lot of my identity has been wrapped up in context, in things that are no longer true or transitory. And, then, in an unrelated-and-only-tangentially-related conversation, someone advised that I find the book Strength Finder, which is an assessment tool for identifying your strengths (uh, that one probably didn’t need to be explained, huh?).

And so I’ve decided to finally get around to doing it, making my list of 50 things. I am …

Which brings us back where we started, to the favor request.

I would be very curious to read what my friends and family think. A lot of times, people see things about us that we ourselves miss. Chances are, if you’re reading this, you know me well enough to have some opinions on the matter. If you had to make a list of “David Hitt is…” statements (not 50 of them, obviously), what would be on it?

And I’m looking for anything. The concrete: “David Hitt is a Huntsville resident.” The subjective: “David Hitt is a nice guy.” The abstract: “David Hitt is everything a ballerina is not.” And the negative.

Which brings us to this: PLEASE feel more than free to post these anonymously. I want people to have the freedom to be honest. I’m not doing this as a way to get compliments or feel good about myself. I’m really curious what people think. So if your list would include “David Hitt is the sort of guy they use to beat ugly sticks with” or “David Hitt is probably unaware what a jerk he is” then PLEASE by all means include it.

My plan is to not look at this until I write mine, but no promises.

Anyway, any help would be much appreciated. Thanks!

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