Who am i?
I was born Katherine Nicolette Noto.
Therein lies "Niki" Noto.
It was after vows, I became Katherine Palmer.
The driver’s license reads Katherine Noto Palmer.
Social handles? @NikiNotoPalmer.
I live in the burbs, so some friends call me Kathy, because it has the suburban housewife name ring to it. I bet Kathy likes to knit. I envision Kathy as a member of her HOA, plays tennis, writes her name on Tupperware, and never allows guests to leave, without saying “Ya’ll come back now!”
I’ll be honest with you; I always thought I knew who I was. I remember teachers were amazed by the amount of confidence I exuded as a small child. I like to think dancing in front of thousands of people at an early age [dance recitals, people. dance recitals.] had a little something to do about that. I’ve never been scared of the big stage, so to speak and always felt comfortable in my own skin.
It’s still weird to me I’m on TV. It’s still weird people know my name, strangers follow me on the interwebs of social media [but I’m really glad you’re here!] and for some reason they’re either interested in what I’m saying, or just plain creepin’ n trollin’.
Here’s the thing… when I got into the TV world, I always assumed I’d be myself. 70% of the time I was, and the other 30% was this weight on my shoulders where I felt like I was supposed to be someone I’m not. I learned the saying “opinions are buttholes, everyone has one” really rang true in the adult, professional world. I was caught in a place, where I felt like I was pushed and pulled into various directions, and they all led to uncertainty.
The uncertainty was my identity. For so long, I put my identity into my profession. It also doesn’t help when people are constantly asking you, “When's your next game?” “What’s your next event?” “When can I see you on TV?” Either way, I struggled with this conversation, especially during those days or months, when work is just plain slow. So what happens when you don’t have anything to say? Do you look or feel like a failure? Do you conjure up some jargon, in hopes it makes you feel like you’re professionally of value? Because that’s your, err, my identity, right?
I sadly forgot there's more to life than two deep rosters. Any time my head and heart felt on a swivel, derailed from a train of emotion, it always led back to frustration with work. Well, really, lack there of. So how do you fix it?
Simple. You realize it isn’t everything. You learn to do math [I’m still learning. I don’t math.] and divvy up a portion of your head and heart to work. And then wait for it, you begin to allow room for other things. The previous equation might not work for everyone, but I know I'm happiest [thus allows me to do better work + be a nicer human in general], when I realize my identity isn’t work. It's my faith, family, yes football + my job, but more.
What did I learn?
I learned to take it a step further, and focused on the greatest step of all. I recognized wholeheartedly my identity is in Him. My identity is in a sovereign Lord who put me on this earth to do and BE more than just work. I know He gave me talents and a unique skill set, which has beautifully transferred into "work" and a gig I love. However, if you're a believer, you already know we are called in whatever we do to glorify Him. I've personally been challenged with being told to not be "preachy" via social media. I was told to keep thoughts about my faith to a minimum because there's no room for that in my line of work, and no one will hire me. I know there are others in different lines of work who have had similar encounters in different work environments than my own. My faith doesn't prevent me from doing my job. In fact, I feel as though it allows me to be better at my job because it's my driving force behind everything. Here's the cool thing and this never fails: when you remain obedient and listen to His whisper, He really provides you with subtle opportunities to glorify Him. He utilizes those moments to remind you and challenge you where your identity is and whom it is in. And many times, it's not even by words but by actions. I encourage you to never take those opportunities for granted. I've been pleasantly surprised by the network of "believers" I've found in my industry. A lot of the times they're hidden because of what I've previously stated... they're scared to even put it out there in fear of ramifications. When you find them? Hold onto them. And seek them out in times of despair. They've been my saving grace. You share the most common identity of all.
So what about the other stuff besides work? Don’t forget about the other stuff because it’s important too. Actually, the other stuff is usually the most important stuff of all. The other stuff you previously didn’t make enough time for is what you really need the most time of. Your family. Your friends. Your hobbies. Your kid's soccer games. Your punch card at the soup kitchen where you volunteer. Oh and breaking: your work doesn’t die with you. Nope, it won’t. Your identity will. So where are you placing it?
ps: call me Niki.
pps: call me Kathy when I bring you scrumptious baked goods.
And please remember, I don’t math.