Home > Identity, Motherhood, Personal, Thoughts > Still searching for an identity… part 1

Still searching for an identity… part 1

November 29, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

Topics running through my mind:

1. Motherhood
2. Writing
3. Blogging
4. Career
5. Job with contract company
6. Faith/religion/God
7. Lack of consistency/discipline
8. My personality–always desiring to be someone I’m not

My mind is all over the place so let’s cover all of these topics–though not necessarily in the order listed and definitely not all in this post. I ended up handwriting this post first (over the course of 2 hours) which amounted to about 22 pages on 7″ x 10.5″ paper. So this will end up being a series posted during the next couple of days.

Desiring to be someone who I’m not.

So I follow all these pastors, read their works, and am a HUGE fan, ie, Driscoll, Piper, and Packer. And sometimes I find myself wishing I could be a pastor. But it’s not a dream I can entertain myself with since I’m a woman and believe the Bible says only men are called to be pastors. (Yes, I know female pastors exist but I don’t agree with them.)

I find myself thinking, “Lord, why didn’t you make me a guy?” But then I realize guys don’t have it easy. My husband has to answer to God for the spiritual direction of our family. No, thank you. It’s hard enough being responsible for myself!

I used to look at other women and wish I could be them–wish I could have their lives or attractive personalities. For example, my older cousin whom I love to pieces. I used to look up to her. In a lot of ways, I still do. She’s strong, she’s a leader, she’s independent, and she’s self-sufficient. But she’s not married and doesn’t have any good prospects in the wings (that I know of). Do I really want to trade my husband just so I can have all those awesome qualities I am so envious of?

Funny like one of my friends. I wish I was like that. I wish I was sweet and likable like my former co-worker. I wish I didn’t care what anyone thinks of me like my hairdresser. Who looks at me and gets envious? But I guess we can all find something to envy about each other, right?

Materialism.

I’m not incredibly materialistic but hoo boy am I definitely tied to the things of this world. Money–something I use, not necessarily for material possessions (although my current obsession is IKEA), but to make myself feel worth something.

Yes, I tie my worth to whether I make money. Problem is, I don’t know how to “untie” it.

When a month or two go by and I haven’t heard from the company I contract for regularly, I self-deprecate and get negative:

“What if they never call me again?”

“What if my work from last time was sloppy and they just don’t want me back?”

“I’m not earning any money so I’m worthless and useless and my life and existence is pointless.”

But when I work, I suddenly have worth again. I feel I can legitimately complain about how the government uses taxpayer money because 30 percent of what I make goes to state and federal taxes each quarter. (That’s what happens when you’re self-employed in the U.S.!)

But what will happen when my full-time job becomes mother? How will I assess my worth then? Will I be worthless as a citizen of the U.S. with a purposeful existence as a mother? Will I be more useful than I’ve ever been?

My husband argues that his money is my money. I don’t see it that way. I have access to his earnings and he can have access to mine (I make significantly less than he does so he rarely has any need to) but I treat our earnings separately. I tithe off of whatever I make and don’t ever touch his. I don’t feel right taking his money–that he worked 40+ hours during the week to earn–and acting like it’s mine. I didn’t earn it. I never showed up to code a software program; he did. It’s not mine. And buying a gift with his money just seems so lame; I’d rather buy nothing at all. I can inherit it if he dies–just like I inherit my mother’s house–but it’s not mine until then. I’ll use it with his permission but I’ll always feel indebted to him. (Out-of-context verse time!) The borrower is slave to the lender.

Motherhood.

I don’t like to publicly discuss this in detail since I never wanted kids before last year and still really wrestle with the prospect of being a responsible, mature mom. As a result, I’ll be brief: I’m impatient, I’m disappointed every time I find out I’m not expecting, and I wonder if motherhood is what God has for me.

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  1. Emily
    November 29, 2009 at 6:41 PM

    1. You didn’t mention Osteen as one of your favorite preachers. 😀

    2. Your self-worth is in Christ. Period. What you are doing for Christ is infinitely more important than how much money you make.

    3. If you continue to treat Jason’s money as his money and not yours collectively, you might start to piss him off. As the husband, he is to provide for you, even if you don’t need providing for. He ties his worth to how he is as a husband, and providing for you and keeping you safe and secure are huge. So stop screwing with him and spend his darn money! 😀

    • Kass
      November 29, 2009 at 8:27 PM

      In reference to #2, yes, I know my self-worth should be in Christ but I am trying to learn what that means exactly.

      In reference to #3, I’m very much a like a guy when it comes to worth so this is a difficult issue for me.

  2. November 29, 2009 at 7:04 PM

    What Emily said.

    I have discovered that when I feel that I’m struggling with who I am and with what to determine my worth, what I really need be doing is reminding myself of who I know I am: a daughter and friend of God, that His value of me is my worth. I don’t always feel that way, but I tell it to myself until I do. If I’m going to hang my identity on a single hook, that’s the one I force myself to use.

    On the flip side, humans do need and desire a validation of their worth in some tangible way, so I understand the habit of tying your worth to your salary. Your value as a person is not limited to your ability to make $$, though. What if you were an artist? What if you were already a SAHM? In these instances, you don’t get $$ to validate yourself. That, of course, is why some SAHMs and artists struggle with their value as people. Instead, notice the intangibles that affirm you: the smiles of your friends/husband, the particularly well-coined phrase you wrote down and really enjoyed, the super-awesome toast you made (yes, it’s silly, but still). I have days when I feel rather useless–and feeling useless is one of my greatest weakness/fears–because I don’t see tangible results of my effort: my students make low grades on their test, one of students doesn’t like a decision I made, no one seems to remember how to diagram an adverb. Instead, I have to refocus: who am I in Christ? I have to notice the other things: a struggling student picked out the subject, I made my students laugh at a corny joke, my co-teacher thanked me for a website I found. It takes an active will at times to change my habits, to measure my worth by something different. I find it results in better emotional health for me, though.

    Side note: being a purposeful mother is, without a doubt, still being a useful US citizen. Rearing thoughtful citizens has more long-term value than tax money.

    Hm. I don’t know if those are helpful thought-meanderings or not. haha. I’ll let you decide.

    Re: the money. Instead of trying to think, “His money is also mine,” start thinking, “This money is ours. We made this money, and we can both use it.” Emily is right, men (more so in many ways than women) have a need to feel that they are providing, and they like to know that their wives use the money they provide. Just as you tend to set your worth as a citizen on your ability to pay taxes, men often tie their worth as a “good” husband to their ability to give you money to spend. 🙂

    • Kass
      November 29, 2009 at 8:28 PM

      Renée, those are great tips about finding the worth in EVERYTHING. Thank you!

  3. November 29, 2009 at 7:04 PM

    Hm. That was long and rambly.

    Ah well.

    • Kass
      November 29, 2009 at 8:27 PM

      I like long and rambly! Have I mentioned that I also enjoy comments? 🙂

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