What defines you?

MORE.com Editors
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Melissa McCarthy
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"At 20, I would have been like: 'Don't they like me? Was it my hair?" At 41, I think the things that define me... are a lot more than those kind of petty things."--Melissa McCarthy, of Mike & Molly and Bridesmaids

Tell us what defines you in the comment section below!

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First Published February 9, 2012

Share Your Thoughts!


Penney White06.20.2014

After reading a few entries, a typical answer may seem to be my family. Defining a person based on what they may seem to value and how that affects others feels so hard to do. Sometimes I feel undefinable (that makes a lot of people uncomfortable). I am changing all the time. I do not fit into anyone's box. I am 45 and at times feel I have no clue who I am so I can not answer that question. I value more strongly in resent years my faith in God which directs me. My character in important to me. Hmm? I am defined by what I do today, how well I do and how well I cope with the wins and loses. Then I try to do better tomorrow.

Donna 04.08.2014

Kindness, gratitude, encouraging wellness at all ages. Reminding people that at times life gets hard but sometimes with hard work it can improve....50plusstickingtogether.com

Rene 02.05.2014

Integrity and honesty (and a big smile that makes people wonder what I'm up to!)

Luisa Nims07.11.2013

What I do, the success of my children, friendships, pursuit of interests, success of my company and how I feel about my everyday life are all factors into the outcome of; am I satisfied with my life, am I living this life well? Am I learning the lessons I need to learn?

Debra 07.07.2013

The wonderful friendships I have and the laughter that erupts daily.

Gayle LaSalle11.12.2012

The love of my daughter, my grand daughters, and having a son-in-law
who treats them all the way any mother could wish for. Great friends and
my passion for living life to its fullest. My pets, greeting me at the door each night and accepting me at all moments, good and not so good.
Writing and dancing. Having learned, through life’s challenges that I am
truly the Boss Of ME! This is what defines me today!

Marjorie Eagan09.16.2012

I recently heard that women our age no longer need to "reinvent" themselves, they only need to "expand" upon themselves. At 56 (I hope my picture uploaded), I define myself as a woman that truly cares about herself, one that has worked very hard to invent myself into someone with whom I am very comfortable. I have two sons, ages 18 and 23 and am currently going through a divorce after 26 years of marriage. I am a museum docent at two of the most prestigious museums in New York City, have completed 10 marathons and 2 triathlons in the past 14 years (and of course the More Half this past April), speak Italian (and travel to Italy as often as I am able) and am an artist. I do believe that everyday is a challenge, to learn something new, to "expand" that knowledge into something that is beneficial to ones self and to those loved ones that we are fortunate enough to have surround us.

Terry Gibson09.04.2012

I think for the first time in my life, I am not defining myself by how society would see me. You see, I was an incest, rape and kidnapping victim of my own parents. With police help, I got away at age seventeen but got hurt worse out in the world; I had no armour to protect myself and was easy prey. Fighting for my life, I still managed to finish high school (something nobody did in my family) and go to university. However, I couldn't finish because I was suicidal and was always hovering somewhere between depressed, selectively mute, and self-injured. My history of healing spans decades and it has not been easy, to say the least. When I look at friends of mine now, they have homes, careers, family. I have none of that and often feel like a failure in life. Everybody else's hard work was rewarded. Why shouldn't mine be? At least, to give me some security in life, inner peace,love. Finally, I learned that I must see myself as a success because I am. I'm alive, relatively healthy, and, yes, even happy. I still slip into old thinking patterns sometimes but make myself miserable. In other words, I need to be mindful of my moods, day-to-day health, and the people I spend time with it. I'm always tweaking the program that keeps me alive, full of love to share, and chock full of stories and my memoir to write.

kim Eddy07.25.2012

I have looked at this question for a month and I was irritated with myself for not being able to give a ready answer. I kept reverting back to the things that "I do" rather than defining who "I am.". So, after much thought, I finally came to the conclusion that what defines me is my love for my fellow humans and especially children.

Nancy 07.07.2012

What Defines Me
Over time I have encountered this question and have not been able to arrive at a satisfactory answer for myself, so I continue to discard it like I would a wilted, soggy, brown-edged piece of lettuce that has no place on a hot, juicy, grilled Swiss cheese burger.
It just occurred to me why - I am still raw, I am not done.
To define something, or for me to define myself, would mean that I am at an end, that where I am now is where I will stay, but that would be an untruth because I change. Life changes me. Life redirects my thoughts and emotions and feelings to new places where I never imagined I would go.
When I was six I watched "Cinderella" on our black and white TV with Lesley Ann Warren playing the role. I immediately fell in love, becoming enchanted with the idea that no matter what happens in life you will always be rescued in the end. I didn't know at that time why I loved that movie so much but what I was to learn over the next 50 years was that rescue doesn't come in the form of a handsome, kind, brave man riding a white stallion, it comes from within. I had to rescue myself. In order to do that, I had to change.
Marriage, children, divorce, single parenting, home ownership, work, pets, family, ex-boyfriends, ex-jobs, ex-friends, death. I had to reconfigure my ideals, values, dreams, desires, and usually not in my favor as I was not floating happily along in my own pretty bubble, but I had to adapt to survive.
So the best word that I have come up to define myself is "fluid" - not fixed, not stable, not done, but able to change at a steady rate when acted upon by force.
That word satisfies me.

mstace morris06.26.2012

What defines me is the me that strives to be as authentic as I possibly can be!

kathleen 06.14.2012

What defines me is my self-confidence in what I like and who I am. My love for writing poetry, gardening, and the idea that I don't have to impress anyone else. I am me.

KANDACE 05.22.2012

At 54 I am now defined by my attitude. I know if I wake up with a positive attitude I will have a better day. No matter what comes if I remain upbeat anything can be taken care. Take a deep breath, hold on and know that as Scarlett would say "tomorrow is another day". I used to worry and stress and after all most things would work out, at least things I have control over. Smile, laugh and believe in tomorrow. Happiness comes from within and sometimes you can change others by just having a positive attitude.


I used to think it was my kids. Now that i am 42 and the first of 3 are graduating this June. I feel it is changing. I have always spoken what is on my mind... sometime good and then sometimes it is not. people really dont want to hear what you have to say if you dont agree with them. So i think that is what defines me. I dont care if i agree with you but i will try to understand why you feel that way. But be carefull you might not like what i say.. lol.. ;}

wendy mccance05.04.2012

I asked this very question on my blog. People were only allowed to use one reason like, my kids define me or the way I treat people define's me. It was so interesting to see what answers people gave. To read the article and see what people thought, please see this link. http://searchingforthehappiness.wordpress.com

Yinka 04.26.2012

Who I am as a woman, mother and wife defines me.

It's funny how things change as we get older. When we are younger we worry about what other people may say or think about us. As we mature, we tend to think less of these things. And to be content with the imperfections that we have. And also to be happy with ourselfs and our health.

Leonie Waite04.18.2012

When I was young I use to worry about being to skinny. I was always small, but it bothered me at times. No boobs not butt, just long legs and long hair. So I started using it to my advantage. I played basket ball tried out for cheerleader, ran track. I feel being a go getter defines me. I never quit.

Dolly Lambe04.10.2012

What defines me is my appreciation for life and my blessings. My family, my spiritually and my being as a daughter, wife and mother and above all as a mortal human being. The knowledge that this world is just a passing through and not permanent so in the short time I have here, I need to make the best with what I have each and every day.

Lakia Curtis03.25.2012

The ability to understand and apply contentment with who I am, what I am not, and the courage to pursue what I will become (while not completely disarming the qualities I currently possess).

Sharon Scott03.07.2012

Just being myself and accepting me for who I am as a person at my age.

Linda B.02.27.2012

What defines you? My background and environment in the early years are the beginnings of what really defines me. Then nurturing and exposure combined with our genetic make up inherited over thousands of years is what builds our character, develops your integrity and gives you that aura or charismatic personality.
My behavior can be explained through patterns: I am a curiosity dabbler. When I find something that interests me, I pursue that something with aggressive interest until I feel I’ve completely and utterly dissected, understood, and therefore “conquered” or at least tried. This is evidenced by the studious and constant annotation and quoting of whatever subject I happen to be studying or pursuing. I am simply curious!


This past 3 years have been quite tragic..a house fire, a lost love due to cancer, a major move, my Mom and best friend passed away with cancer and now I face my own cancer scare. I gave eulogies and made them proud. I am a single Mom of three with a very full time job. I heard 'you are the strongest woman I know' more than I have cared to hear - crisis and tragedy were defining me as I moved from one crisis to the next without the chance to mourn, heal or even understand where I was in the mourning process. What I learned through it all is that crisis and tragedy do not define me but good character always matters - it is how you rise through it all and what you do with the experience. Today I mourn, I cry, I remember, I do the work each day and feel a little stronger each day. What defines me is the ability to ask for help there is more power in asking and not having to do it alone. I sent an email to my 12 closest friends (yes lucky me to have so many) reaching out and asking for help - one resounding message became clear...what took you so long! So today I ask for help and I have walking, talking, sharing, shoulders, listening and I am surrounding by love and beauty. What defines me is that I can be me and not have to do any of this alone - asking for help is hard but incredible. Thanks to my ladies for waiting patiently on me.

the fact i can smile each day and take a moment to breathe no matter what curve-balls we face in our family and my husband can look at me and still see the sparkle in my eyes of pure happiness - even if i am completely exhusted.

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