Me, Summed Up in 11 Pictures.

26 03 2011

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about who I am. Perhaps it’s because I’m currently living in a city that my great-great grandparents lived in, and the tangible marks of their legacy live on in the very building where my husband goes to school, Concordia Seminary. Or maybe it’s because I’m incredibly curious about genealogy.

Finding out as a teenager that my family was chock-full of Lutheran theologians, college presidents, writers, and master artisans on one side was intriguing to me.

And then finding out a few years later that I’m a direct descendent of two Pilgrims who came over on the Mayflower, John Alden and Myles Standish, was fascinating.

Then, finding out this year that our family’s history as master blacksmiths extends back to being mentioned in Beowulf, one of the most epic pieces of historically based fiction ever written, and that Thomas Jefferson was a family lawyer for my distant grandparents, has completely captured my imagination.

But who am I? How do I sum myself up in just a few words, as I’m destined to be remembered by on a scrap of paper that one of my great-great-great grandchild looks at someday?

I don’t know. But what I do know is that I can sum myself up in a few memorable pictures, captured over the course of my lifetime:

1) Part of an incredible family. My parents gave their all in raising my brother and me, and their sacrifices haven't been in vain. The most important thing they ever did for me was helped instill a hunger for learning and a passion for a relationship with my Creator. For that, I can never thank them enough. My life was only blessed even more with my marriage to my incredible husband, Tyler. This picture is from one of our many wonderful family trips, in this case, to Washington when I was a junior in high school.

2) A talker and listener. I love to talk, and I love to listen to others talk. Deep discussions are one of my favorite pastimes ever...and have been since I was little, as seen in this picture of me when I was just 3.

3) A bold adventurer. I love new experiences. I'll try nearly anything once, even snails--as seen here in a picture from my junior prom. I feel that you can always learn something from each new experience, whether it was a good one or bad one (for instance, I now know that I'll never enjoy eating pickled pigs' feet!)

4) A determined hard worker. I ran cross country for three years in high school--not because I enjoyed it, but because I knew it was a good discipline for me to practice. As I logged the miles every day, I spent time thinking about my life--and that reflection allowed me to know myself better than most people my age, I think. This picture is of me with my team during my senior year of high school, right before a big race started.

5) A down-to-earth person. I'm incredibly detailed, a meticulous planner. I direct large functions, gigantic groups of people, and often vent my frustrations in no uncertain terms. But at my core, I'm actually pretty laid back and don't mind the curve balls that life throws at me...as seen here in this picture from freshman year of college, after playing on a muddy soccer field one night.

6) An artist. I've always been passionate about writing and art. Growing up, I always thought I'd be an artist--from the time I was two, scribbling wildly colored crayon sketches in construction paper packets. As I've grown older, these two hobbies have brought me so much joy and allowed me to express myself in unique ways. Here's a picture of me from senior year of high school, displaying a painting on my bedroom wall.

7) Someone who likes to laugh. Looking back at pictures throughout my life, I'm struck by how many I'm giggling in. I was raised in a family that laughed all the time, has a copious amount of inside jokes, and who even whispers gaffs at funerals. I have a good sense of humor, thanks to them--and it's one of my favorite features about myself now. This picture is of my younger brother, Chase, and me as youngsters.

8) A leader. I've always been a leader, as long as I can remember...and I always knew it. And I consider it a spiritual gift from God. Some of my biggest lessons and most difficult challenges as a leader came from the year this photo was taken, my sophomore year of college--when I led this hall of over 40 unique students as a resident assistant.

9) A strong and confident woman. One of my male friends in high school once said that this picture said "everything you needed to know about Cassie". I think he's right. I'm strong, and not afraid of who I am. This was after a night out with my friends during high school, and we're standing on the bed of my pick-up truck.

 

10) A mischievous goofball. Many of my students know this, but most of their parents do not--I'm one of the biggest pranksters you'll ever meet. You can't take life too seriously, after all. I practice what I preach, as you can tell from this picture with my husband a few years ago in St. Augustine, Florida.

11) A caring, relationship-driven individual. I absolutely adore people--even though they're the biggest source of conflict and frustration in my life. I strive to love others as Christ has loved me, and the many wonderful relationships I've been blessed with in my life are my greatest joys. In this picture, taken on our middle school mission trip last summer, you can almost see the bonds of love between all of these students and me.

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One response

28 03 2011
stephanieamber

you are a fantastic artist!! i enjoyed this. i admire your ability to state things about yourself – i think there’s this false humility we get where we have a hard time acknowledging anything but the bad parts of our character. and by “we” i definitely at least mean “i.” so i super admired this. and your history?? freaking CRAZY!!

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