Tuesday, August 15, 2006

I guess identity is who we see ourselves as. It seems that I define my own identity in my career. If asked the question, "Who are you?" I would undoubtedly tell you that I'm the Executive Director of a music school for children from low-income families. An arts administrator. A grant writer. Cue John Williams music: I am a cape-wearing, hands-on-hips, fighter for children and an equal arts education for all.

Of course, I have now given notice at that job to be a family girl. A daughter, a stepmother, and a hopefully a glowing pregnant woman soon. So who does that make me?

I've been reading mommybloggers lately. A friend sent me a link to a musician mom's blog recently. The entry described some of the wedding music she has been subjected to performing as one of a few violinists who haven't yet fled the state of Mississippi. As much as I connected with the musician and certainly the anti-Mississippi feel of the post, the more I read, the more I realized I am missing something.

I followed links from this blog to other mommyblogs and read for hours. There is a feeling of motherhood as an identity amongst them. As a new stepmother, I haven't just taken on the identity and run with it. I'm excited about it, but I still am surprised when Lovely wants a hug in the morning, or I'm supposed to check her homework. It catches me off guard a little. Don't get me wrong, I am loving the new role. It just doesn't feel like an identity yet.

The feeling of loss at leaving my job is strange to me as I never intended on being an arts administrator. As much as I have enjoyed the work and the people I have worked with, I have to admit that I have enjoyed the identity it gave me just as much. I fell into the job, and have felt so lucky to have done so. It made me a professional instead of just a musician.

But I'm nervous about the whole identity thing. I think I used my job to identify myself because I didn't like my life. Now that I'm starting to really like it, that doubt starts creeping back in of what I deserve, what I'm worth, and most importantly - who I am.

There is a bit of closing my eyes and jumping going on here. At some point I made a decision to change my life and never look back. Now I'm hoping that I can live up to it and that the strong mommy-identity comes from the hormones or somehow magically is instilled upon you during pregnancy and childbirth. It would be so nice to read the mommyblogs as a peer and relate as a mommy. We'll see.