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16 October 2014

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Who Am I?

By Wyn Roberts
May 2007, Conwy
A digital story from Capture Wales

"This is me at the age of two, or so. I could say 'goka', but I hadn't really learned to speak, let alone ask the question, 'Who am I?'

But, soon enough, and after due consultation with my brother, I decided I wanted to be a train driver on the Aberdare to Cardiff mainline.

I changed my mind. By the age of 10, I was the best goalkeeper in Stoke on Trent, after Gordon Banks. I had to follow my dream.

Then again, by my teen age, I was becoming the dishiest, coolest, most intellectual kid in town. And so, leaving school had to be to study philosophy. It taught me 'the meaning of life'.

Pop star - you wish. Stuffy academic - no way. Stepping in, Mum advised I should give serious consideration to my Welsh heritage.

So now, with life partner, we named our sons Caradoc, the friendly, and Aneurin, the honourable, and came home to Wales.

Who am I? This is me - Cymro, Welshman, dad, and silly bugger."

Please tell us a little about yourself.
I'm in my mid life crisis. Come to think of it all my life's been in crisis - moving from one job or aspiration to the next. Coming home to Wales seemed to offer the answer to my question 'Who am I?' And I do feel a quiet vague sense of belonging connected to the hills and my 26 first cousins (once removed). But really, being a Dad beats it all. It's the most powerful, beautiful, awful, disappointing, lovely thing in life. If I'm anything real, I'm part of us the family.

What's your story about?
And this is what my story's about - it's about myself. It's a search to answer the serious question - who am I? - footballer, philosopher, train driver, Welshman, Dad. It's a desperate attempt at being funny about a life with few answers. It's a flippant amble through different life stages to find satisfaction, comfort, and peace with being who I am. Welshman - sort of; Dad and family man - yes. I can be myself, happy, angry, funny, sad - all these things, with those little buggers my lovely sons and wife.

Why did you choose to tell this particular story?
It seemed a good idea at the time.

What did you find most rewarding about the workshop?
As I've worked through stages in my life I want to help disadvantaged people through difficult stages in their lives. Through my work with a community group, we want to use digital storytelling as a therapeutic tool to create rites of passage for troubled people. To help make individual people happier with themselves and then happier with others in the community. Everyone's got a story to tell and telling it helps. Thanks to everyone at the workshop for showing how powerful making and telling stories can be.

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