Thursday, April 11, 2013

Identity and conduct

I think my biggest question to myself these days is "What is my identity?"

Have I gone through something that is going to define me, or is there more to me than this? I like to think there there is more to me, but sometimes I wonder what it is...

I have many titles in my life, my favorite is Mom. I'm also a daughter, sister, aunt, and other various relative terms. In my job I have two titles, Graphic Designer, and Sales Manager. I'm an American. I'm a Republican. Most importantly, I'm a Primitive Baptist. All these titles have been mine for a long time. The only title I've lost is Wife. So why would I let the loss of one of my titles define who I am?

All I can think of is that the roll I had as a wife was one that I took pride in. It consumed most of my identity. I put time and effort and care into that roll, and without it I guess I was kind of lost. I had to find my niche in the world again.

These days I'm trying to figure out how I'm supposed to conduct myself with this new identity. I have two opposing ideas in my head, and sometimes I don't know which one to listen to. I have part of my head that tells me what I have been through is something I need to not speak about, and live my life as quiet as possible. I don't want to attract more attention to myself than I already have. But then the other side of my head is telling me that if I keep everything bottled up inside me I'm going to eventually explode. I don't know which is right. Is it ok to talk about what I've been through, or do I keep it inside of me and hope I don't internally combust? Like when a conversation turns to a certain subject, do I continue to join in even though I might say something about my past, or do I slink back into the corner and not say anything? What am I supposed to do? I want to conduct myself in a respectable manner, but most of the time I don't have a clue as to how that would be.

I have wonderful friends and family that have listened to me and have been there for me every step of the way, and I know that whatever I do or say, they will support me and reassure me that it is all part of the process. But sometimes I just want someone to tell me I've gone too far. I'm a very open person, sometimes too open. I don't seem to know where the imaginary line is that I shouldn't cross, and I want someone out there to show me where it is. I feel like I'm navigating uncharted waters. I want to learn from the women in my church, but I sometimes feel like I'm not even in the same ocean as they are so I don't know how to learn about where I am. So I end up just staying lost most of the time.

I guess all I can do is pray that the Lord will guide me in my new identity and teach me how I should conduct myself. Whether it is chastisement by the Lord, or my peers, or myself, I hope I will figure out how to navigate through these waters and find my way.

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