Recently my status has changed from married, to …. soon not to be married. I have labeled myself with the title of wife for 13 years.
I am just beginning to realize I have used these labels throughout life to create an identity for myself; it’s almost as if I need these labels to feel like a complete person. “Hi, my name is Maureen; I am a Mom, a wife, a runner and blogger – this is who I am.” But is it really?
I believe I’ve struggled with needing to label myself since my early 20’s. I felt completely lost most of those years searching for who I really was. I looked for my identity through boyfriends I dated, jobs I worked, religious organizations, and friends that would come and go throughout my life. Then at age thirty two I was married and my identity was of wife, at thirty five it became wife and mother and I struggled immensely feeling lost once again. I didn’t understand who I was outside of wife and mother and it took me years to feel comfortable within my own skin. Now I am getting divorced and losing a label and those unsure feelings are back, again. I do think this is somewhat normal, it’s a part of growing and learning who I am and who I want to be in this world.
Good enough labels ~
When labeling myself, I must be the utmost perfection of that label; otherwise it must not be true.
- If I am not the best mother, the kind that attends all the sporting events, plans the best parties, joins the PTA- volunteering for everything – am I good enough?
- If I am not the best wife, the kind that always has her house clean and in order, dinner made, bills paid, and keeps her husband and child satisfied and happy- am I good enough?
- If I am not a great runner, the kind that can run a half marathon fully without walking one step, cross trains five days a week and enters all the local races – am I good enough?
- If I am not a consistent blogger/writer, the kind that can write and post on a daily/weekly basis, always has the mindset to create and turn out the best pieces in a snap – am I good enough?
Without these labels and without being the best at each one – am I Maureen and am I good enough? This is what I am working on, figuring out why I need to label myself to feel relevant and good enough.
Am I trying to prove something to someone or myself? What happens if I am not a wife or even someone’s girlfriend anymore? Does this mean I am not good enough to be loved? Did I do something wrong that no one would want to love me? This is obviously a ridiculous question/statement. But somehow along the way I have adopted this line of thinking and it filters down into all the other labels I seek to place on myself.
I will tell you, it is exhausting trying to sustain these labels and to perfection, or what I perceive to be perfection. It is an internal struggle and battle that I wage war with quite often. How freeing it would be to feel I didn’t have to “be” anything. To know who I was without a label. To feel good enough without a label and at its perfection. How do I do this?
I have been on a journey of self-discovery for as long as I can remember and each time I seem to have a grasp on who it is I think I am – **** BAM **** life begins to change and it throws me off. I understand we are always learning and discovering about ourselves and I believe this makes life fun and challenging. It would be a dull and unfulfilled life to remain the same person from a child through adulthood. That being said I don’t want to feel the necessity to label or title myself as something to have an identity.
- I want to be a great mom because I love my daughter and she is my world – period
- I want my future romantic relationship(s) to enhance my happiness, not be the source of it and using them as my identity.
- I want to be a runner free of demands I put on myself for perfection.
- I want to be a blogger/writer simply because I love to share my experiences with the world and inspire others.
I want to live my life knowing who I am without a label and feel perfectly ok with it.
“Hi, my name is Maureen.” Period end of sentence