"Who am I?" is quite literally the question I silently asked myself as I settled into a folding chair next to the parent of one of my daughter's classmates at a meeting regarding their upcoming trip to Washington DC. He had smiled and said "Hello," and as I smiled back, it took me a moment to get my mind focused on where I was, why I was there, and how I should respond to this individual sitting next to me. I closed my eyes for a second, brought myself into the moment, and said, "Hi. How is Ethan?" He replied, "Very well." And we were off. I was, once again, a parent attending a meeting at school with other parents.
Some days, we wear many hats as individuals, and for me, it can be challenging to "change my hat" quickly enough to assume the role I am in. Going from being a wife to being a mother, from being an employee and co-worker to being a giver of time to those in need, from being a daughter and sister to being a friend, and finally, to being the keeper of me - especially when it is required all in one day - can seem daunting, even impossible. And, yet, most of us do it most days.
I don't generally wear actual hats (although the thought to start that trend again has crossed my mind), so changing actual hats in order to "change my hat" as a person is of no help. I do, however, often change my shoes prior to "changing my hat." This small act is often all it takes for me to step into the new role I am playing. Make no mistake about my intention here. I am not saying that I change the being of who I am when I take on the various roles I play in life; on the contrary, what I am doing is taking the being of me fully into each of my roles so that I can be fully present and be my best me in each of the positions I aim to fulfill in life. Which is why simply closing my eyes and pausing to reflect on it can remind me of who I am, all that I am, even when a change of shoes is not in order. That is who I am.
author of "JOY"