For years I defined myself as a potter, since it was where I had achieved the most success as an artist. As such I set myself up with the tools of the trade, as expected of any professional: wheel, kiln, glaze-making equipment, bags of various minerals, etc.
Much as the mark of a serious photographer was once having your own darkroom, the mark of a serious potter was having your own kiln. It marked me as a step above the lowly amateurs fighting for space at the local open studio.
But times change and interests drift, money and time wane, and space becomes an issue. I haven't thrown a pot in at least seven years, much less fired a full kiln, but still, I defined myself as a potter because of the tools I had.
A friend contacted me, asking if I still had the tools, and would I be interested in parting with them. I had to ponder the implications with that. Give up a little of my old identity, grieve a bit, and consider future paths, but I'm making space, and moving on.
Now someone else gets to be a potter to be reckoned with, with a wheel, and a kiln, and the endless possibilities those tools provide.