I wouldn't go so far as to call it an identity crisis, but I've been struggling a lot lately with the question of what defines me. The issue can be neatly packaged in this scenario: the Bishop told us we will speak in church soon (not sure when exactly, but he gave us a heads up) and of course they want us to introduce our family. I've been struggling to think of how I would introduce myself to an audience. Would I talk about the things I've done in the past that have shaped who I am? Namely, world travel, art, master's degree, independent bookstores? Or the things that define me now? Children, domesticity, sewing? The things I used to love and that used to be the biggest parts of my identity are almost universally absent now. I can't travel. I can't teach or go to classes. I can't really go anywhere with the little ones at this stage. I do still go to museums and keep up with art history through reading, but not nearly as much as I would like to.
I know this sounds like navel-gazing, maybe verging on egotistical. But when my kids are asleep and I can write a blog post, its okay a little bit. I miss my old life, but I have embraced my new role with vigor and hope and love, and definitely with my whole heart. But it makes me wonder, do we spend eternity changing and changing with every new situation, or do we adapt to situations but never actually change who we are? Am I still going to love everything I used to when the children are older, or am I going to be an entirely different person? I'm not sure if my new role as a stay-at-home mother is changing me, or if I'm changing to fit my new role.
I'm starting to think the answer is to let go. To bid adieu to what used to be my motivators, since they are not accessible to me now, and take in the new ones. Find new ways to keep myself energized. Revel in domesticity, and the centuries of women before me who have done the exact same thing I'm doing. In essence, (maybe temporally, or maybe for good) give up my old passions because I can't do anything about them now, and find new ones. I think I'll be happier if I do.
I guess some feminists might see this as a defeat, but its not like I haven't achieved what I wanted to in life. I sailed around the world, for heaven's sake. But this is the role Heavenly Father wants me to have, and I know that with certainty. I know my children need me, and that is the most important thing of all. Sacrificing for them is worth it; its worth everything.