What is an identity anyway? Who am I if I no longer have a job? The reminder comes when I (Joy) am asked for my work phone number or business email address. Well, I don’t have those anymore. Does that mean I am unimportant because I just have my one cell phone, my one Gmail account?
If I am no longer referred to as Morgan or Dana’s mom, have I lost that identity too?
I was amused to be handed a business card, a calling card more aptly put, here in Mexico. The community I live in during the winter months is comprised largely of expats who are retired. The card I was handed said in big letters, “Retired” and the individual’s names as well as phone number and email. They had given themselves a new identity! I smiled. Some people embrace this state, others take a little longer to figure out who they now are or who they want to be.
The Oxford dictionary defines the word identity as “the fact of being who or what a person or thing is, a close similarity or affinity, a transformation that leaves an object unchanged.”
I am beginning to realize that we have many identities in life and that they change over time. In the same way as your relationship with your children changes and your husband, your friends. Relationships can grow, become deeper, more meaningful, more spiritual. So it seems to me that identities can too. I can pick the one I want for the first time. It will not be dictated to me by my role within a corporate environment, a neighborhood or community, a church or synagogue, a book club, a volunteer group, (you get the picture) I will be the me I didn’t have time for all those many years, the me who goes to yoga three times a week, who bakes just for the hell of it, the texter to friends I haven’t been in touch with.
Stay tuned to our escapades, of which there will be many. I am lucky to be making this trip in good company with friends who get me and are there to listen when I’m down.
Look out world, new identity in the making!
.Its okay to recreate oneself and be someone you’ve never been before. You are not beholden to anyone for approval, except you.
. The old you will always be there, that’s what memories are for. Pack it away and take it out on special occasions, admire it, smile at it, and then understand it’s time has passed. Like the wedding gown I put in plastic and sealed for all time, my old identity is sealed for a rainy day.
Enjoy the ride!
xox Barclay and Joy