How do you reconcile different facets of your identity: the ones that you’ve developed over time, and sometimes keep separate, and sometimes let work together? As I’ve been on this sabbatical, the biggest hat I’ve been wearing is one of the Daughter. Not that it’s never been taken off: when I lived independently, it was one more easily tossed off and hung up on the coat rack. I put it on less frequently than others, as it would be the biggest one I wore in the fall for sequential family birthdays and more family-focused holidays. Throughout the rest of the year, it would be put on for visits home, or for phone calls, and one off questions or obligations. I’d easily take it off, and go about my day wearing various hats: the employee, or roommate, or friend, or just the hat that felt like Me the most. (I’m quickly realizing the hat metaphor is breaking down, but let’s just go with it, please and thank you.) Now, though, I’m wearing the Daughter Hat all the time. I live in my mother’s home, and it’s a role that trumps all others for her. I know this is something that others feel, too—I’ll (maybe) save it for another day. There are cultural layers that play into some less-than-happy feelings that come from this role for me. Some obligations that I feel like are a struggle, as I sometimes feel less seen for who I am. Is this the Leo in me? The need to be seen and accepted and loved for me? I don’t necessarily think it’s solely a Leo thing—we’re all searching for some form of being seen, and identity, and that journey of “who am I?”
i resonated with this so hard. being a leo, wearing many different hats within each aspect of life (especially the daughter hat omg), and looking for a job. i've been struggling recently with where i want to move in my "career" (especially when i don't think i necessarily fit in with the "traditional" mode of working.) i definitely agree that applying for jobs and taking steps in our lives are acts of vulnerability and that's what makes taking these risks so daunting, honestly. i genuinely admire you for being open and *vulnerable* about vulnerability. i'm wishing you much support and success in finding things that fit in with your true self <3
loved this ♥️ thank you for sharing
I stumbled upon your post, and it stirred some meaningful thoughts for me. Your bit about how much of your identity pie chart your career occupies contrasted with me, whose career often feels like the crust, the custard, and the tin. There was something reassuring in reading that your proportions differ--maybe as a potential promise that it need not always be that way for me but also as a reminder of how universal that struggle to define ourselves can be.
I’ve been using Substack for years without ever clicking the search button and spinning the roulette wheel but I am glad that I read this post. I too am a big “be vulnerable” person (writing for Substack is my platform for just that!) so I always admire people who aim for the same. Thanks for sharing with the world.