Sunday, November 7, 2010

Identity Crisis: Reinventing Me

I know that something major has happened in my life when I find myself building my proof of identity from ground zero. I don't mean just paperwork, but the little components that make up who I am are reinvented, reshuffled and remade.

College Me
 Declaration Of Independence

Leaving home to be my own woman let me claim who I was and build on the foundations I was laying. It helped me clarify the blurry lines between me and other personalities I unconsciously projected but were not really ME.

I fully realized this molding of identity the first time I saw a huge rat in the very first house I rented as an independent woman. I was broke, the room was a god-awful mess with half-unpacked boxes and that rat was shocked that I had moved in. Guess he didn't get the memo. Haha :D Gross, I know but I felt content. MY RAT. MY ROOM. MY MESS. :D

Prior to that were the usual pressures of school and peers for identity but nothing really solid that I can fully claim as my own. You could say I've been trying out clothes from the rack and while some did look good on me, they really weren't my style. So by the time I was able to move out, I was more than ready for some tailor fitting.

Our Anniversary Layout
I framed this as a triptych and gave it as a gift to rf.
Then, I Got Married.

Who knew that marriage could be such a legal headache? Proving who I was and tracking each and every paper of proof that I am myself took forever! Then, I had to change my name on all those pieces of paper, which again, took forever and a day. I remember asking myself if those scraps really defined my existence. Legally, yes. (Thanks to that experience, I never underestimate the value of a piece of paper again.)

Other than the legalities, I had to wrap my brain around being someone's wife too. Compromises need to be made and one's quirks have to be outgrown or at least thoroughly discussed. I wasn't wholly my own woman anymore, going where and when I please. Complete control over my life wasn't something I had for long, and just when I thought I was getting the hang of it, I found that I had to relinquish some of it when I signed the dotted line. That took some getting used to!

Okay, not that I regret it, mind you. Marriage gave me new ways in which to grow and surprisingly for me, discover that I wouldn't be as restricted as I thought I'd be. Maybe it's also because RF has been very supportive and understanding through all the stresses we've muddled through together. I'm thanking my lucky stars I didn't marry a lemon and I haven't yet prayed for divorce to be legalized in this country!

Ground Zero: The Day You Find Out You're Preggo

First few weeks of Oona's life.
Had to drink Duphaston (those white things)
to help her hold on in my womb.
 One milestone I thought marriage would prepare me for was the inevitable role of motherhood. But getting pregnant and giving birth to Oona opened up an entirely new dimension in my character development. I never really thought there could be so many things to being a mother! Nothing is too small, insignificant or inconsequential, everything affects you and your child! 

Once again, everything is erased and it all starts in your head. You build yourself again with this new factor whose variables are exponential.

Example: I never used to be afraid of germs, strangers or be so deeply concerned about the environment, politics or finances. Now, I'm all about what these things could mean for my kids' future. I never really thought I'd be a mom, actually, but the things that suddenly concern me never cease to amaze me. There's a new one every day! Like today, I think I'm turning into the bad word patrol and I'm trying to find a good explanation why 'What the hey!' still isn't good even when you don't say 'hell'.

I'm also finding out that I thought I'd be all progressive and modern parenting but I'm more traditional than I actually suspected. I suddenly have issues about everything! I even have anxiety attacks about things that haven't happened or can only happen in the remotest possibility. Like, if I could put in a GPS microchip on each kid of mine, I would! (But I might be damaging them for life so I don't know.) Maybe just teach them to go for the jugular if anyone dares harm a hair on their heads.


My little girls clwoning around!
Anyhoo, it never ceases to amaze me how many times one has to reinvent oneself just as you were getting comfortable with who you are at the moment.

Like now, I find that reinvention happens everyday especially around kids. It's totally crazy and I don't know how I manage it, but I do.

I have to.

When babies depend on you, it's a whole different ball game, a whole different level of involvement. It's not just your future hanging on the balance anymore. Who I am means so much more than my own reasons for building an identity. It's the foundation I build to raise good human beings.

(Whoa. Intense much?!)


Jonas Diego said...

Ang cute-cute ni Ollie! :D