“We are not nouns, we are verbs. I am not a thing – an actor, a writer – I am a person who does things – I write, I act – and I never know what I’m going to do next. I think you can be imprisoned if you think of yourself as a noun.” – Stephen Fry
Do you consider yourself a knitter? Or do you just knit? A spinner, or someone who spins? A crocheter or someone with a penchant for hooks?
I’ve been thinking about this quote for a while. Stephen fry is a wonderful, intelligent man and much of what he says rings true. Perhaps this does too. I’ve been struggling with what it means to be certain things (a writer, a blogger) and Mr. Fry made me realise that it’s not that simple. Yes, if you write you are a writer, and if you knit you are a knitter.
But is it healthy to define yourself that way?
Spoiler alert: I consider myself a knitter. There comes a point in any hobby when it’s taking up so much of your time and attention that it has to become a defining part of yourself. I’m also a writer: I have been writing roughly two decades longer than I’ve been knitting and it’s not easy for me to stop. It’s compulsive. These are two of my defining attributes and I’m comfortable with that, but I still take something away from Stephen Fry’s words.
That is: labels are not everything. Calling myself a knitter does not negate the fact that I do other things than knit. I do not have to write at every opportunity to consider myself a writer. Our identities flex and change and that’s all right.
Maybe one day I won’t be a knitter any longer. I can’t imagine that day coming but it’s possible. Perhaps one day I’ll consider myself only a person who knits.
What do you think?