My best friend says I’m a diamond. She states a diamond is a piece of carbon that under pressure, heat and stress reveals a crystalline structure which becomes harder and more beautiful. From coal (or dinosaur poop) to translucent beauty. A diamond doesn’t reveal its true beauty until a craftsman uses wisdom and knowledge and selectively applied pressure to intentionally fracture the diamond to create the facets that capture and reflect the light. She concludes that her description is very appropriate.

Or like Shrek, I may be like an onion, full of layers. Except everyone cries around onions.

This question, seemingly simple is hard to answer. I ask myself if it is the person I am at work, with my children, with the people in my life. The many roles I play of mother, lover, employee, boss, wife, friend, soulmates, sister or daughter. While these roles contribute to the woman underneath none of them define “me”.

So who is Shannon? Am I still that little girl who’s afraid of the dark? Who once believed that as long as the covers hid my eyes the monsters couldn’t get me. Or am I the woman who realized that the monsters weren’t actually hiding under my bed. They were hiding in plain sight, in brilliant disguise.

Am I the woman who works so hard because she’s afraid to fail? Or the girl who still sees a puddle and wants to jump into the centre? To find the nearest field and spin in circles until I fall down singing, laughing, head spinning, looking up at the sky.

Are these worries that have piled up simply me collecting junk for recycling or has my mind become a hoarder, where intervention is surely going to be needed to clean up all the crap?

The question isn’t simple because I am not simple. Let’s dig in to “me”.

I value honesty and loyalty, where I can place my fragile trust into someone despite the fear. I value humour because without it the world is a very gray place. I often laugh at myself because I can and because it reminds me that although not perfect I am human. I value my ability to feel others emotions, when I can help them and I fear that same ability when I cannot.

I value life and time and the fact that you never know what will happen. I’ve always been a big believer in looking at the big picture, but sometimes I forget to look at the small things. The little achievements or issues. I am smart and fiercely loyal, and once I deem you “mine” I am yours forever. Your friend, your love, your protector, your conscience, your weakness.

After all these words, have I shone a light on the question at hand? “Who am I”?

The simple answer, I don’t know.

The complex answer, I am everything and nothing all at the same time. I am a teacher of things, a lynch pin in life who constantly challenging the status quo, I am a little girl and a wise old crone. I am empathy, courage and strength but also unforgiving, stubborn and demanding. My tongue both has the sharp edge of sarcasm and judgement and the soft edges where I will caress and smooth the way.

So in the end, the question remains somewhat unanswered, just like I remain incomplete. I am journeying to discover the rest, some days hurtling through time in a single day, others stuck in a sort of stasis, unable to move.