I spent so much time in my late 20s trying to figure out who I was. Trying to define certain identities.
Am I an entrepreneur?
Am I a Physical Therapist?
Am I a coach?
Am I a people pleaser?
Am I professional?
Am I a supporter?
Am I a leader?
No matter how much I tried, I never really felt like I was getting any closer to one identity. In fact, I felt more resistance to going in one direction, and instead of seeing that as good, I took it to believe I was nothing significant at all. But, as I sit and reflect daily on who I want to be as a human, and where I want to go, I realize I have endless “identity” images. Images of being a mother, of being a supportive wife, of being a CEO, of being a leader in my field. And I don’t think any of those are exclusive of each other.
Sitting cozily with my thoughts, more accepting of my versatility, I am understanding more strongly that identities do matter but not in the way I think many of us believe. I think we can be more than one. And that we should be. That being more than one thing does not discredit other ones.
Sure, in order to excel in a corporate career, for example, we need to gain mastery within one “identity”, which takes time, and commitment to do that thing may not otherwise happen if we want to excel in that plus, say, being a chef too. But the point is not about excelling in a career so much as its about your facets and being fully embracing of them all. Your various identit(ies).
After failing to define mine and believing that was how I would feel “successful”, it wasn’t until I loosened the grasp that I began to feel free and “solid” in who I was. It’s ironic, really. In the case of my experiences, I equated specific identities to success and happiness, which is why I held on so tightly to defining mine. This is just a roundabout way of simply saying I was unaccepting of my self as I was. Enough. Once I began to let go, clarity and ease of living came faster.
Now, I love being a woman. I love that I am hard working in my creative entrepreneurial pursuits. I love that I dabble in so many projects, not just one. I love that I embrace my sensuality and desire to be attractive to a partner. I love knowing I am more than that too. That I’m smart and logical and rational and capable and kind. I love that I also am stern in defending the parts of myself I am solid in. I love that I am open to slowly modifying the parts I’m not, even if it hurts. I love that I care for your comfort more than my own at times. I love that I am professional but not rigid. I love that I’m afraid of heartbreak, failure, loss, and criticism. That I am human for it too. I love that I like materialistic things but also enjoy warm sunshine walks and deep conversations with humans I share myself with. I love that my path is so different from most others’s. I love that I can lift heavier than many men yet will surrender to a man I love who also loves me back. I love not having one identity. I love embracing them all. Riding the ebb and flow of rhythms and waves.
I love knowing that I will ultimately not sacrifice these versions of myself to be what has been or is expected of me. And neither should anybody.