I have been thinking a lot this past week about identity. Who I am and how I portray that to the world.
I wear many hats in my life. I thought this was wrong for the longest time. Wasn’t that being fake?
Lately, I have come to understand that I need many identities to get through the things that scare me and that I am not good at. I have to come back to reference points in my life where I have done something like not given up, or succeeded when something was hard, or making a phone call. You would not believe how hard the last one is for me.
One of my identities is teacher. I act a certain way to get children to buy into what I am teaching. Sometimes I am silly, sometimes serious. I try to be as entertaining as possible. Everything I can wrap up in the gift of reading and writing – I do it.
This is not the same identity as I am at a party with all adults! That person is quiet unless it is an inner circle group I am close with.
Another identity is coach. With this hat I am a leader and an authority. I struggle with this role. I like the power of this part of me but also balance it with learner. Everyone I work with I learn from. That goes for all my students actually. Sometimes I learn more from the 5 year old than anyone else.
Another identity is writer. Today my prompt is featured for Storyaday May. You can find that here: https://storyaday.org/2020-05-26-breitweiser/
I write everyday. I publish, I have writing friends and I love it. Does it make me a better teacher? Yes, no question in my mind. But I pushed the writing to the side and did not take it seriously for years. My life might have turned out differently if I had focused on the writing instead of education.
Many years ago I had to create an identity in order to present. to groups. I am a hard core introvert but if you met me at a conference you would have no idea. At a conference, I introduce myself to people, I ask questions, I invite myself into your group. I take on this part of myself I have created in order to function in this environment and succeed. Even though it is a part of me, it is not natural and takes me days to recover.
When I was a coach, there were weekends that I would sleep almost the entire two days in order to recharge. I would have no energy to do anything trying to recover from all the “peopling” I did throughout the five day work week. On days I would present workshops throughout the day I would be spent. I loved it but it was so draining.
Over the next 8 weeks I will be analyzing my identities and what I use for what. I have no idea how many of them are in there! I plan to find out!