top of page
  • theaparikos

Who are you?

Recently, I got thinking about a career woman I met on Ikaria back in 2019 before the pandemic, who was nearing retirement. When I congratulated her, she told me she was dreading it. The look on her face spoke volumes. Of course, me being me – we had to sit down and have a good old chat. Bear in mind this was a lady with many interests, activities, and with a love of travel.

She told me that she had delayed it as long as possible but due to her age she was forced to retire. When I asked why she was feeling this way, she explained that her work was her life, her position, her identity. She had no idea who she would be when this period of her life was over. We talked about new chapters beginning and wonderful experiences she had to look forward to. How one door closes so that another door may open.

The chord that struck me in our conversation was about identity. Why do you feel that your identity is in what you do rather than who you are? Must it be one and the same? Are we not always changing, growing and learning? Should you be put into a specific box, and when you no longer fit in that box what happens? So many questions! When I think of how we approach identity here on Ikaria, we consider that character, personality, the soul of a person is really what makes the person who they are. Life changes and we change with it. Yet we are still who we always were.

I find it interesting that often when we meet someone new one of the first questions is “So what do you do?” Wouldn't it be nice to be asked: “What do you enjoy doing?” Because as soon as you answer the first question it seems your identity is sealed. I suppose there are two things happening here: one is the fear of retirement and the other the fear of losing yourself in the way you have known for so long.

So maybe, as we experience so much change and upheaval in these times, it’s really an opportunity to introduce yourself to yourself again! To learn (or relearn) what fulfils you and brings contentment to your life. To see this as a wonderful gift and realize how blessed you are to have this time. Being taken out of our comfort zone and routine can be scary. But it is also exciting and exhilarating! So, take that next step with optimism and cheer. And always keep in mind that you are who you always were, only growing and learning as you go.

747 views2 comments

Recent Posts

See All

What Ikaria means to me

I was asked this question today by my niece who is here with us this summer. I have never thought about it from this perspective and found it harder to answer than I would have thought. My emotional a


On our Instagram, we have been doing a Q&A series (not to worry, we will be sure to get to all your questions!), and one question I received that I would like to dive deeper into is, "Is moving to Ika


The Greek god Zeus is sometimes called Zeus Xenios for his role as the protector of strangers. In ancient times, it was considered a sin to treat a stranger badly as hospitality was always offered reg


Cynthia Valadas Wentland
Cynthia Valadas Wentland
Nov 12, 2021

Dear Thea,

Two months ago, recently retired, I was sitting on the terrace of your lovely Inn and contemplating what this next chapter of my life would bring. I was burned out and in need of rest and clarity and found that and so much more during my stay with you on your enchanting little Island. Today I still close my eyes from time to time and allow myself to go back to the memories made on Ikaria and smile, breathe deeply, and calm myself. Ikaria has so may lessons many of us could benefit by spiritually, socially, and physically. Thank you for giving me the space to just "be" and and rest for a bit.

I will see you…


Angela Uhlig
Angela Uhlig
Apr 19, 2021

Dear Thea,

what a great notification and so true!

I am also in that age shortly before retirement.... who am I.. no longer in charge, no longer "on top", it was a process to find out that I am worth a lot all by myself without proofing it with daily hard work... it feels so good!! :-)

The only thing I m missing is travelling to Ikaria!

Sending you love from Germany


bottom of page