Who are you?
There are many times in life when we question who we are. Psychologist Erik Erikson formulated an entire theory to support different types of identity crises a person faces over their lives. As a student, studying this particular theory was rather fascinating because it forced me to think about who I am as a person.
Who I was, and who I became.
Before becoming a military spouse, I identified myself as a mother and student. My husband and I had been married for about a year when he enlisted, and we had two babies. I worked full time as a manager and spent my time off studying, while caring for the kiddos. In many ways, I knew who I was before my husband joined the military. In the six years of his service, I have been through several different identity crises. I became a stay-at-home mother. I went back to school and became a full-time student. I added one more child to my mess and began volunteering on multiple platforms. With each new transition, my identity changed slightly. Through the years my many experiences have shaped me into the woman I am today.
In many ways being able to identify as a military spouse has allowed me to always know who I am. I can introduce myself in various forms, but the one constant thus far is the awesome title of “military spouse.” I do not let the term define me, however, and I do not see it as an advantage. We all have various classifications that we fall under, but my favorite is this one. For me the identity allows me to connect with other military spouses globally. It allows me to share my story, to hear the stories of others, and to learn more than I ever believed possible.
Who are you?
The question "Who am I" will be something that never goes away for many of us. As we transition from different ages and have many new experiences, we are likely to face this crossroad time and time again. We learn and we live, but our true spirit stays the same. We are fighters, survivors, mothers, fathers, daughters, sons...the list can be endless. We have so many wonderful stories to share and to tell. We, together, fill many different roles in our communities. We are tired and we are restless, but we are strong nonetheless.
You might have a list of different identities, or you might only have one. You are strong. You are courageous. You are loved. You are perfect in all of your imperfections. In the world we live in, it is easy to hear bad things about ourselves everywhere we turn. No matter what you hear, you should always remember who you want to be and strive to become the best version of yourself. Life takes us many unique places and it can be easy to forget ourselves along the way. Stay strong and keep being perfectly you!