Following my previous anti-racism rant I received another email in response to my request to stop forwarding, with the subject “Who the hell is <<insert name>>?”. Now, the ‘hell’ was quite unnecessary, and I disregarded the contents of the email that went on about how I am a pompous individual (seriously, for asking to stop sending racist emails? Sure, whatever), and instead I focussed on the key question – who am I?

As I approach my 30th birthday you would think it an easy question to answer.

Who are you?

You can answer with your name, age, nationality, location (a/s/l?), but that barely scrapes the surface. Go a little deeper – What do you do? What do you enjoy doing? And deeper still – your beliefs, passions, morals and values. What would you stand up and fight for? What do you fear?

Not all that easy, are they?

Who are you?

I’m a British New Zealander living in Doha. Being a Brit-Kiwi means I was born in the UK, talk like a Kiwi, but can’t walk around in bare feet. I do not feel uncomfortable about being 30 as I am in an exciting phase of my life, living in a new environment, experiencing very different cultures, and planning trips to places I’ve barely heard of.

I’m recently married to a Londoner, and moved him away from everything he knows. To answer any locals, no, we don’t have children, yes, thank you for your well wishes, but no, we actually don’t hope to have any ‘soon’ – we’ve got far too much to do before then!

My current job feels like it’s my time, make or break, to forge ahead in this industry – a sector I previously had no interest in and was actually a little scared of. Things are a little sluggish to begin with but I suspect I will soon be inundated with projects and driving change that would not be possible in the developed world. It’s an exciting opportunity.

It took me a while to figure out that this is the industry I wanted to be in, after falling into a job following experience in recruitment and IT, then a redundancy.

As for what I enjoy doing – eating has to be high up on the list. My previous flatmates didn’t nickname me the “Carb Monster” for no reason! Hubby loves to cook, so we’ve got the balance right. With the one exception that I am vegetarian. (Note – I am vegetarian, it’s part of who I am, as opposed to ‘a’ vegetarian). I’m reasonably strict (no gelatine, no mixing meat utensils) and I won’t buy meat, touch it, or cook it. Hubby is not vegetarian.

I’ve been dabbling in photography, completing a 365 project in 2011 and most of 2012. Last year I completed a photography course at the Working Men’s College so now I know how to actually use my camera. Now it’s about practice, or, rather, taking the time to change settings and frustrating Hubby all in aid of getting the right shot!

I’m trying to develop my non-existent art skills and have been trying my hand at calligraphy. It’s been a while though and I’m a bit rusty. Soon I am going to try something akin to scrapbooking – we have polaroid photos from our wedding that I’d love to do something funky with!

Other than that what I enjoy is pretty normal – reading, socialising, and currently forced into a situation where I have to develop a new group through networking. And I’ve started blogging.

Right, time to move onto values and beliefs. I’d describe myself as a moral atheist, that is, I don’t believe in a higher being (but don’t disrespect those that do), instead opting to live by my strong moral code. Sometimes it’s a little black and white, but so far it’s seen me through. I’m fairly quiet but will stand up for what I believe in, and stubborn too so you’re unlikely to see me waver from my standpoint.

I’m terrified of needles. I’ll jump out of a plane but not off a bridge. I don’t like rollercoasters (a good thing it turns out, since I am too short for some!).

I get passionate about strange things like suicide (prevention), and I used to love volunteering as a youth counsellor at Youthline.

There are things I would change, mistakes I wouldn’t make, and heartache I would avoid. But if I hadn’t experienced everything I have then I would be a different person today.

There you are.

I’m a short Brit-Kiwi with a camera around my neck.

That’s what most people would see, but there’s more to me.

We all have a story that moulded us into who we are today. It may not be pleasant, or you may not like it, but it’s best to accept it – you probably turned out better for it.

Who are you?