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Navigating an Identity Crisis

Posted Dec 04 2009 2:19am

I know I said I wouldn’t blog the rest of this week, but I wrote this post for WeAretheRealDeal and wanted to share it here, as well. You can read it here or after the jump.

Hope everyone has a safe, happy and healthy weekend and I hope to be back next week, rejuvenated!

As women, we often struggle to not be pigeon-holed into just one facet of our lives.

At the same time, we all wear so many hats … and it’s hard to not be defined by those hats: they shape us, they give us substance, and they are undoubtedly a huge part of who we are.

But here’s my question to you: What happens when you don’t want to wear that hat anymore, if it’s no longer a good fit?

What if we want to put that hat on the rack again, maybe come back to it, maybe leave it for someone else to borrow … or maybe we just want to get rid of it altogether?

What happens when, for example, you’re a law student who realizes your true calling is in community organizing? Do you/can you quit law school in favor of your passion?

Or you’re a stay-at-home mom who wants to be known as herself again, or by her former profession … before she was “Mom”? Do you/can you find a way to go back to work, maybe part time?

Or, heck, what happens when you’re like me, recovering from disordered eating issues and you want to be just known as a women’s lifestyle blogger, not just as a recovery blogger? Do you/can you extricate yourself from the blog you literally bred from the ground and move on?

Every action has an equal and opposite reaction; Sir Isaac Newton taught us this in physics class.

But when we’re talking about our life’s goals – or the paths we set out for ourselves … it’s not so easy to weigh out those actions and reactions. They come at a cost … and require a lot of thought and internal dialogue.

Earlier this week, I admitted on my blog, Tales of a (Recovering) Disordered Eater that I’m having a big of an identity crisis right now — wondering how to maintain and nurture the community I’ve grown to love, while broadening my range of topics.

(It’s been over a year and a half that I’ve been blogging about my recovery and I feel healed; I don’t just want to be known as a recovery blogger anymore …)

I’m also at that weird in-between stage of life where we’re ready to start a family (i.e., put on the “mom” hat), but with my husband still entrenched in his MBA, we need to wait a little longer.

So I’m personally in a state of limbo in those two areas of my life, and am curious as to how you feel about identity crises we women face throughout our lives.

Ultimately, life is about discovery on a multitude of levels. The “you” at 25 is probably not the “you” that you are at 45 … so the question becomes: how do you handle putting hats back on the rack … or branching out and trying on a new “style,” loving yourself all the while?

I don’t have any answers here, but I thought WeAretheRealReal might be a good forum for discussion. I welcome your thoughts; comment away!

How about you? What hats are you wearing now, and are there any you’re struggling with?

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