Identity

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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!

11 thoughts on “Identity

  1. This is a great personal reflection, and I suppose it’s somewhat true of many teachers. I suspect, though, that people who know you would be comfortable with all of your different selves, since at their heart they’re all you. I can so definitely relate to your penultimate paragraph. Even doing a 60-minute PD is draining. Thank you for sharing this.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for this – I do wonder sometimes how many sides I show to whom. I have had many comments before that are along the lines of “I didn’t know that about you” – esp at work.

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  2. You seem to have a good handle already on who you are and how to manage the different sides to your personality. I wish you well as you continue to delve deep into identity.

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  3. Oh, the multiple identities conundrum – or maybe it’s a blessing. One of the strangest things about being at home this last while is how my various identities have to come together in one space. It’s odd to be a parent and a teacher in the same moment, but when my child wanders in while I’m teaching… boom! identity crash! I look forward to reading more about your thinking here & I can’t wait to check out your prompt. Wish I had time for story-a-day May!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is fascinating and makes me want to explore my identity (or identities) in some detail. Do you think you have one identity that is the main you and then sides to that identity, or do you feel like you are a person made up of really different identities? You also have me wondering if we have had to create identities to deal with situations or if the identities are there to call on when we need them (The old nature/nurture question, I suppose.). Thanks for getting me thinking……again.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow! I felt like you were writing about me. I have actually been thinking the exact same thing for years, and for some reason, during this pandemic, it’s intensified. Shifting between empathetic, and hard-liner, from we’ll make work, and everyone is doing the best they can, to this is unacceptable. I recently wrote about how I trained for this as a child, an introverted homeachooler who was often isolated. Your post so perfectly capture what I think many of us, and maybe teachers especially, do to be everything that can to everyone. I too, have wondered, if it’s fake. But then I think about how these selves are all authentic, and people are not one-dimensional. Well done. You’ve inspired me to write about this too. It will be interesting to see how parallel thought lines end in different places. I’m following now!

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  6. Pingback: Weekend Coffee Share – The Accidental Inspirationalist

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