My Personal Journey Creating and Accepting My Identity(s)
My Personal Journey Creating and Accepting My Identity(s)

I find I get mixed reactions from people when I ask the question, what is your personal identity? Quite often it’s a very polarizing reaction. People either jump in with their immediate one sentence, clearly defined “I am a filmmaker, I have known I wanted to be since I was 5 years old….” OR the complete opposite; I see fear begin to percolate in their eyes and this sense of unknowing or panic starts to creep in. They look at me and start to stumble, they tell me what they do and their title at work but then start to correct themselves and that’s where it all starts to fall apart. Perhaps you are nodding your head in agreement to one of these, or maybe you are a combination of the two. Any way you look at it, understanding and being able to articulate your personal identity is a journey through life and for some of us not an easy one. I have found my journey to be both exciting but also confusing and complicated. At least until recently when I realized that the key to understanding your identity is really acceptance, passion and knowing that it is constantly evolving. It is still okay to put it out there! Having a clearly articulated identity helps both you and the people around you understand who you are and what you stand for. It’s very important. I really like this article by Adele Gulfo, President Pfizer, LA. She very simply discusses the importance of having a personal identity and some of the key reasons why.

I have never been Person A that I described above. But oh boy have I always longed to be. I always wanted to just wake up one morning and know exactly what I wanted to be when I grew up but it just never came to me that easily. I have been married to a Person A, my husband, Courtney. He knew from the time he was a little boy that he was destined to be a filmmaker. He has stories from his childhood, when he would bicycle from the small town of Lakefield, where he grew up, into Peterborough and sneak into the local movie theatre to binge watch movies on the big screen feeling his calling. He has not veered away from that path for a moment since. To this day his passion for filmmaking impresses me immensely, in fact it is exactly what drew me to him when we first met. One of the reasons I admire him so much is because he is so dedicated to his calling and yet for me it has always been a struggle to find my path.

For me, I rotated through callings all through my younger years and into adulthood. I can remember wanting to be a Vet (I even had a car with a license plate- I {insert heart} anmls), I was immensely focused on being a forensic psychologist for years, and definitely cannot forget my years of dedication to baking and thinking perhaps I would eventually open my own cake and cupcake shop. All of these ended up being interests and loves perhaps, but not my calling or my identity.

I often found myself over the years asking the very question, what am I really passionate about? What would I love to do given the opportunity, with no barriers (wow wouldn’t that be nice right)? For years I couldn’t answer this question honestly and it plagued me. It made me feel inadequate and even sometimes like a bit of a failure. Not only that but I felt completely divided. I had built my entire career around retail and marketing strategy and my passion for the customer but I spent most of my personal time in two other areas that I was also intensely passionate about. One being health and fitness, the other was a newly developed love for the film and television industry. It confused me how to meld the three worlds together. In fact, melding them together felt almost impossible. I felt pulled and torn constantly. I felt I was always making a choice for one and then having to sacrifice another. So, when did it all start to make sense for me? And how?

I started to accept that I am capable of being passionate about more than one thing and I am. I have a genuine passion for three things in life; my abilities as a coach and leader in marketing and operational strategy, my continued development in health and fitness and my growth as a producer. Once I realized that I can have more than one passion it became easy for me and much less complicated. I no longer believe in sacrificing one for another. Each passion has its own place and growth is happening in each at different paces. I accept that. Here is a great article I found on acceptance from Identity Magazine:

4 Steps to Accept the Unacceptable: Why Finding True Acceptance is your Key to Freedom * Identity…

I would believe that most people know that they have passion(s), it’s time to try accepting them. Allow yourself the space to be the best you can be. The work is in articulating it clearly to other people and how you do that the best possible way. Want some help? If I can do it, I know that you can~

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