The best part of growing up is developing a security in knowing who you are. Not necessarily in what you do, in who you’re with, or in how much you have, but simply in who you (as a human being) are. At 25 years old I may not know exactly where I’m going, but I finally have peace in knowing who I am. It’s a beautiful thing to care less and less about what society tells you that you are, and just to be who you are unashamed.

If you don’t know that feeling, ask yourself “who am I?”. How would people describe you if they couldn’t use physical attributes, job titles, your wealth status, geographical location, social media popularity, or correlations with any other person? How many people could give you a list of just your positive character traits?

If we’re honest, most of the way even we would describe ourselves start off with our occupation, our family, social status, religious beliefs, etc. That’s not all wrong, but maybe it’s not all right either. If we “have a good job”, “have a great family,” “are an avid traveler” etc., then it’s sometimes easier to focus so much on those things and making ourselves appear to be the best in “those” areas, but be completely lacking in personal character.

I don’t want to be known in the world as just a “Photographer from Southern California who travels a lot, is married to Andrew Aziz, and runs a few blogs.” Maybe people’s social media “profile captions” are starting to change the way people see themselves. We sell the world who we are on every platform by those “about me” proclamations, the pictures we post, and the captions we write. Then daily we look over those things and decide if that’s how we want to be perceived (deleting and adding as we please).

Who we are is not what we post online but the person/friend that we are to the people in our REAL lives on a daily basis. Posting a video about a “social justice issue” is not aiding in solving the problem, it’s just making you look like you care. Although it may bring that issue into more of the light, we shouldn’t just “talk the talk”, but actually be people that take action.

I am Melissa Aziz-Soule. I love people, and God is teaching me how to serve them better every day. I’m currently working on being a more humble and gentle person. I have been hurt in the past, but I am starting to trust others and become more vulnerable with the people around me. I love being generous whenever I can. I want to make a difference in people’s lives spiritually; I want to open people’s minds to other thoughts/beliefs, and also to help people with their physical needs (food, water, shelter, clothing, etc.). I have a long way to go, but I am working on being the best wife, daughter, sister, and friend that I can be. I am always praying I would be a woman of wisdom, grace, patience, faithfulness, generosity, kindness, a servant, and a lover of people unconditionally. Everything else aside, that is who I am, and who I am becoming.

Now it’s your turn.

Who my friend, are you?

-Melissa Aziz-Soule