Who Am I?
Well, that is the question, right? Well, who are you?
I've been struggling writing this post for a few weeks. I meant to write it in June as Pride Month was very relatable to most of what I planned to write. But as I ruminated over the topic, more life experience was added and thus, here I am!
In June, I would have written how our positioning on LGBTQ+ is the current focus of our youth. But it really should go much beyond that. You are much more than that. And I think we forget that focus when we're identifying on piece of ourselves. And that's ok! But fast forward a few years and changes occur and you're left searching for who you are.
Confused? Let me share my own story. After college, I was very fortunate to have work almost immediately after graduation. I've worked ever since. The only times I was out of work were while transitioning between jobs. I was always employed. Again, lucky me. When the pandemic hit and I parted ways with my corporate job (planned WAAAAY before Covid was in our daily vocabulary), I was left with mixed feelings. I had processed many of the negative feelings before I had actually departed, so I looked at this time excitedly. What I didn't know was that I'd be out of full time employment for almost 2 years. It was terrifying.
I had always identified myself as wife, mom, daughter, sister, Employee (and more!). That employee identity was obviously taking a hit when I would apply for relevant work and not hear or be immediately turned down by the bots monitoring applications. Naturally, my self-esteem took a hit.
The feelings of loss were similar to that of losing my mother a decade ago. WAIT? Losing a job was like losing your mother? Yup. It was for me. Now, the emotions of losing my mother were emotionally very different. But it did challenge my identity as a daughter. I had my dad, but the relationship between mothers and daughters are very different. Where I didn't challenge my whole sense of self losing my job, it was a loss that I had to deal with. I had something one day and didn't the next.
I had to reinvent myself in both cases. I'm STILL a daughter to my mother. She's just not physically here to be my mother. She guides me in many ways daily, whether or not I realize how. I'm still a valued employee. I'm just with different employees. I may not be an "expert" like I was before, but I'll get there. I'm learning.
During this time, I've continued to be a mom, a wife, a volunteer, a daughter, a sister, a niece, a cousin, a friend, a confidant, a coach. Without all of my experiences, including losing my mom, I wouldn't have found purpose in coaching.
After reaching a long road of grief, I realized one day that I needed to focus what was in front of me, not what I didn't have. That made me stop and focus on my children much more than losing my mom. It was a pivotal moment in my life. It didn't change that I miss my mom daily. But it did give me purpose to get up every day.
I applied to be a bus driver in the middle of my job search. I had no idea what I was going to do for work and thought it was an "easy" job. Let me reassure you, I no longer think that and thank my lucky stars that I'm equipped to handle such a role. Is it my ideal job? Some days. And on those other days when the kids have me at wits end, I do miss being that corporate job with air conditioning! However, this is my path for a reason.
So as you sit back and think about who you are, don't focus your sense of self on one specific identity. You are so much more than that. One part of you may be screaming for attention, but don't forget about the rest of you.