A friend of mine asked a question the other day and it’s stuck in my brain. She wasn’t asking it of me-it was a conversation about her but the nugget just won’t go away.
If you stripped away all my “titles” (mom, wife, employee) what’s left? Who is left? It’s a big question and I am not ready with an answer. If asked who I am as a mom-I could tell you that. I could easily give a laundry list if the good and bad of my mommy-hood.
As an employee, well….I used to know exactly who I was in that arena. I am in the process of re-inventing and re-transforming that definition of me. I am struggling, floundering and and making some mis-steps and mistakes in this new career journey. But,even in this yearling state, there are some core parts of my employee identity that I can cling to and own.
This bigger question of who am I without my “titles” or my roles just unnerves me. The best part of me is being a mom. I’ll be a mom forever but in the next few years that role will shift and change and will become less and less a part of my every moment. What will I do? Who will I be?
A few years ago I had to learn that work is not something that defines you. It’s what you DO but it’s not WHO you are. Relying on co-workers or a job title to define who you are is dangerous. So I’ve stepped back and have done my best not to allow work to tell me who I am. So… What’s left?
Who am I when no one is looking? What contribution do I make to this world? What beside my children will be my legacy? What will they say when they talk about me when it’s all over? I don’t know.
As a women I’ve let my roles define me. I’ve let boyfriends and faux friends dictate who I am. I’ve molded and re-invented myself to fit a mold. I am sometimes who I think I should be…sometimes I am the me that’s left over at the end if a trying day.
Who am I? If I wasn’t afraid who would I be? If I wasn’t afraid what would I do? I don’t know. I. Don’t. Know. And that makes me sad.