I am a woman. I am Chinese-American. I am a wife. I am a mother. I am a scientist. I am a writer. I am all of these things, yet none of these words can accurately portray my individuality or even begin to explain the essence of who I am.

It wasn’t until after my son was born that I truly began to think deeply about my own identity. Before then, I had taken it for granted that I knew who I was, that it wasn’t something that needed to be reflected upon. But after having a child, my identity became inextricably intertwined with the little person who was now a permanent fixture in my life. It was only when I tried to separate myself from the role of motherhood that I realized I didn’t know where to begin.

Little by little, I began to realize that my identity is not defined by my roles, my job, or my hobbies. Rather than looking for labels to describe me, I began to see the various aspects of my life as things which bring me overwhelming joy. It wasn’t until I began to appreciate and be thankful for the things I have that I was able to shift my focus to the things that matter most in life.

I am grateful for:

  1. The feeling of sinking into my bed, after an exhausting day
  2. Watching my son eagerly absorbing everything the world has to offer
  3. Reading a book that truly resonates with me
  4. Finding something in common with someone else that is totally unexpected
  5. Witnessing the immense love my son continuously receives from his grandparents
  6. A long hug with my husband after work
  7. Sleeping in on the weekend when my son visits with his grandparents
  8. A big bowl of delicious noodle soup
  9. Discovering a TV show that my husband and I both love
  10. Amazon Prime Two Day Shipping
  11. Coming home to a house cleaned top to bottom by my husband
  12. Creative inspiration
  13. Making a difference and being recognized at work
  14. Connecting with old friends without missing a beat
  15. Financial security
  16. The feeling of comfort and nostalgia when eating food I grew up with
  17. Doing something random and silly that causes my son to laugh from his belly
  18. Finding a great deal on something I was planning on buying
  19. Listening to podcasts
  20. People and situations that are placed in my life that facilitate personal growth
  21. My health and well-being
  22. Knowing that what I do makes a difference in patients’ lives
  23. A workplace and supervisors that are incredibly supportive of parenthood
  24. Changing into my pajamas and snuggling under a blanket on the couch
  25. Being a homeowner with two parks within walking distance of our neighborhood


This post is also published at My Gratitude Journal

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8 COMMENTS

  1. I’ve always struggled with my identity all my life! But I agree with you that we can be grateful for the things in everyday life. For me, I also like a hug, and also just enjoying quiet time even if it’s just for one hour. There’s so much satisfaction out of enjoying the little things in life 🙂

  2. And you will never find gratitude in life until you intentionally decide to choose it. Gratitude quickly sets in when we begin to spend a quiet moment each day remembering them. This practice alone has the potential to change your heart and life immeasurably.

  3. Great post, Katie. Identity is definitely something that I’ve thought and written about – a lot. But I really like your gratitude list. Very detailed and thought out, and just plain lovely. Hugs!

  4. I love how you referred to who you are not being defined solely on the titles you hold. Each day there is always something we can take and be grateful for 🙂

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