I check a lot of boxes.
These boxes are easy to identify roles I play daily. These are roles I am proud of.
However, there are many other boxes I check that are not so clear to the outside world – identities I own, but may not show to everyone.
And still, some identities I own, but am not so proud of.
Our identities dictate how we function in the world. As a woman, the world interacts with me based on that identity. In turn, my identity as a woman shapes how I make my way through my day. People see my appearance, assume I am a woman, and act accordingly.
My identity as a wife also shapes how people interact and communicate with me. The fact I wear two bands on my left ring finger signifies I have someone I share my life with (or that I don’t want to be bothered). It identifies I am married and this identity shapes my interaction with other people and even how I interact with societal structures like government, financial institutions and organized religion.
Other pieces of my identity are not as easy to notice. You may not get the opportunity to witness my relentlessness unless you are a client of mine or working on a project with me. My family and friends can attest to pros and cons of my strong-will. You can simply have a conversation with me or see my social media posts to recognize I am a feminist, but you may wonder if I am religious or spiritual – these identities are not seen with the eye.
And as for the identities I am not so proud of, I go to great lengths to keep these embarrassing little boxes closed and out of sight. These identities are currently under construction and in process of change.
ALL of these identities are pieces of me – They make up who I am.
How I see me.
How the world sees me.
Pieces of a pie that I serve to those who come my way.
And yet, they are ALL able to be changed.
Now you may argue, a mother is always a mother. My response is, yes, but a mother can be a mother in name only. I choose to be the kind of mother I am today. That choice shapes my identity as a mother. Same as being a wife, a daughter, a sister, a friend and a helper. Identities that many also lay claim to but implement differently.
I do not enjoy cooking. (Yep-I said it!) I cook so my family doesn’t starve. I have identified as a bad cook for most of my adulthood – I did try to act like I enjoyed it for a few years in my 20’s but that lie died quickly. I told anyone who would listen, and I preface any food offer I brought to a party, “I am a bad cook.” I lowered the expectation immediately. What came along with that identity was the resentment with cooking and all associated activities. The grocery shopping, the prepping, the planning are all tasks I dread, because who wants to do a task when you don’t enjoy it and you aren’t any good at it.
But what if I am an amazing cook?
What if I decide to change my identity and find purpose and peace in cooking for my family? What if I choose a different identity? I do not have to love cooking to be good enough.
Maybe changing my identity as a bad cook prompts me to ask for help with other tasks at home and improves communication at my house?
Maybe if I am not a bad cook, maybe I am more confident to make food for family get togethers and gives us more time to make memories?
Maybe identities can be changed? Maybe the more knowledge we gain we can adjust our perspective?
The challenge lies with accepting, evaluating, and learning from new information then adjusting my perception of truth to account for this knowledge. I am evolving and opening my mind to acceptance that my identities can change when I open myself up to the opportunity. Maybe adjusting my identity opens doors of opportunity that would remain closed if my mind does also.
💥Maybe I am confident, not self-conscious.
💥Maybe I am vulnerable, not sensitive.
💥Maybe I am spiritual, not religious.
Changing my identity doesn’t negate who I used to be, it validates my growth.
And I don’t grow in my comfort zone.
Maybe I am a good cook sometimes and sometimes I am not. Maybe it’s not all or nothing.
Maybe who I am, changes as I grow. Maybe I get to be whoever the hell I decide to be.💥