A friend asked me this question recently, and it was so difficult for me to answer. She made me think about who and what I am, and who and what I want to be. She told me, “the reason you’re torn and conflicted is because you’re pulled apart in so many ways – as a mother, a wife, a daughter – but who are you, really?” She said I wanted to please everybody, when the only one I was accountable to was myself. I am responsible for myself and my happiness.
I have been in my 30s for a few years now and I still seem to be suffering an identity crisis. Where peers have passed their quarter-life and approach or are in their mid-life crises, I still do not know how to answer the question, “who am I?” I would like to think that I am over adolescental angst, but honestly, I still feel young, lost, restless and confused at times.
But I am okay. Even if in the eyes of many, it seems more of a weakness to be defined by the relationships that I have with those who are dearest and closest to me. Who am I, beyond being wife, mother, daughter? I am a friend, sister, teacher. I have a passion for the arts, but I feel presumptuous and unworthy calling myself an artist. I love the theater, but it is a love that I have set aside in favor of love for family and marriage. It is a love that I hope to revisit someday (hopefully, sooner rather than later). I love being with people. I also love being alone. I love spending time and playing with my toddler. I also love bonding with friends and family over good food and great conversations.
There may be other mothers, other women, out there, who may feel the same way I do. And if there are, I’d like to tell you (and myself), we are not alone. We may feel frustrated, we may not know what to do, we may have regrets over our choices, or feel unaccomplished, we may not know who we are or who we want to be… It’s all part of the journey. More than where we want to be and what we want to do, what matters is that we are aware of where we are right now. Because this is where we begin. Sometimes we feel we do not know who we are, but knowing that we do not know, is the first step. We begin where we are.
I share my journey, with the hope to connect with others who, like me, might find comfort in the thought that somewhere in the world, is someone who’s also just trying to figure things out. As we strive towards where we want to be, may we enjoy the journey and always find ways and reasons to be happy…