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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Identity Crisis and other Olympic thoughts...

(AP photo/Mark Baker)

Meet Samuel Contesti. He is French. He is an Italian citizen and skates for their Olympic team. He is wearing Jed Clampett-style denim overalls and a flannel plaid shirt. And is skating to a blues song. It seems to me that Mr. Contesti may have a bit of an identity crisis...

and I totally relate...

Apparently, the phenomenon of athletes taking the citizenship of another country is nothing new. In the world of figure skating alone, Yuko Kavaguti changed not only her citizinship but her name so that she would be "more Russian." But I wonder as athletes who have changed the country that they represent stand on the medal stand, is the triumph as sweet as it is for someone who has had their national identity in place since birth? And as someone who never had a "mothering" identity in them from birth, how do I deal with my feelings of insecurity now that I am walking among the gold-medal mothers of the world?

Please don't hear something I am not saying. I believe full-time motherhood is a very worthy career. I always have. I just always had a desire to have another job title (preferably Broadway star or international mystery solver, thankyouverymuch!) I don't recall playing with dolls as a kid and any "playing house" consisted of me heading off to a music tour and leaving my pretend husband at home to clean. But after six years as a local mystery solver and the stress of juggling that job, motherhood, and military deployments, I was happy that the opportunity to "retire" had presented itself. I still have dreams about what I will be "when I grow up." I have more goals for my future. However, I want to make sure that my current position gets the credit and pause it deserves on my life journey.

Samuel Contesti may not have dreamed about being an Italian when he grew up. But I imagine that from the moment he first laced up his ice skates, he began dreaming of being a real, authentic skater. When he achieved that goal, he probably then began dreaming of winning a gold medal. He followed his dream, even if that meant challenging his national identity. His identity was found in what he put his efforts into. And, although I may have never dreamed that I would be a stay-at-home mother, living life to its fullest has always been my end goal. I will continue to follow those dreams, even if it means challenging my identity. And I pray that my identity would always be known by what I put my efforts into!


Julie said...

Oh how I am sure so many can relate! I do!! I work full time but have the intense guilt that I should be home with the kids. However, after a full week at home I long for "adult interaction."

If only Etsy crafting could pay the bills ;)

Best of luck!

LauraC said...

I think it's hard to feel comfortable in any mothering role because it is a new role! I think we all have to find our path and it takes time. I also think it's natural to question it... it means you are a great mom!

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