Thursday, September 13, 2007


I've been thinking a lot about 'identity' lately. How people define themselves. How I define myself these days.

I hit many a 'park day' in my current phase of life. Who's got cabin fever? One day, I walked up to a group of gals, and the gist of the part of conversation that I got from them is that these gals are women who form their identities by what they wear, what their husbands do for a living, what their kids wear, and where they live.

Another day, I was talking with a gal who just moved here. We were doing the basic 'where are you from? what brought you out here? spiel. She phrased her answers like this: 'We just graduated from XX. We've always worked for smaller companies, but now we are trying working for a larger company. We're not sure how we like it yet.' Does this mean that you and the two-year old tag along to Ball with your husband everyday? Did you take the tests in college? Did you do the projects?

Does this happen when you don't have an education of your own? I am the first to acknowledge that I would not have finished my Ph.D. without the help of Rog. He was a tremendous support and a fantastic coach. I would have either quit, or harpooned the whale and been sent to prison without him to talk me down off the tower, so to speak. But he doesn't - at least I don't THINK so - consider my degree somehow his. I don't feel like I work at IBM. I might not think that ANYONE should work there these days, but it's Roger's job over at big blue, not mine. Is this way of thinking happen when you're a youngster and you get married?

I think I'm really just giving this knit wits too much credit for being representative samples of women. Maybe I just hit the 'outliers' all in one pod. After the first incident, some of my friends with small children showed up. One is an artist and one is a nurse. One actually helps her husband - a dentist - quite often with his practice. She's never used the 'we,' and in her case it actually does apply sometimes!

I guess right now, at this moment and not necessarily in any particular order, I'm a wife, mom, retired researcher, crazed canning lady, deep-in-the-closet glass artist who occassionally knits wee sweaters and reads to escape.

Who are you?


Mia said...

I have thought a lot about this post for the last couple of days. As some one who has had an identity "crunch" or two myself I have a thought or two on this topic. First of all I have a slight identity crunch (not quite a crisis) every time I move. All of a sudden the friends and creature comforts I had been used to for the last x number of years are gone. The people who knew me and loved me just as I am, are replaced by new faces who need time to get to know me. So in the first few minutes of meeting someone I get to try and sum up all the complexities of "me". When we first moved to TN I mentioned to every one that we moved to take a job with Nissan. It was a huge career change for Forrest and it affected us greatly as a family. But now that I have been here for a while I might mention it tenth down the line because it isn't as big of an issue in the fore front of my mind. Now I mention the things that are more indicative of the current "me". Some of the things I mention now are wife, mother, obsessive compulsive reader, excel happy budget maker, shoe addict, and ocassional blog junkie, just to mention a few of the things that make me tic. Sorry if you get this twice...

kat said...

i hear that. when we first moved to longmont, i had a difficult time being 'kat young' and not knowing a soul. after 10 or so years in the cu ward, i was NOT the new kid! :)