Losing My Identity. Finding a Purpose.

I’ve been in New York for almost four weeks now. The days are running together. I’ve gone from jeans and jackets to T-shirts and shorts in a matter of weeks. And I haven’t left the West Side.

My life has revolved completely around Noah, who is in intensive rehearsals to star as Billy Elliot in Billy Elliot, the National Broadway tour. This is a new feeling, a new way of life for me. If indeed you want to call it my life. For the first time in memory, I don’t have my own “thing” anymore: the comfort of my house, a job, routine, social life, teenage son to prepare for college, dog to walk, etc. My life consists of getting Noah to and from rehearsals, making sure he eats well, ensuring that he gets enough sleep. Well, that’s about it. Sure, I did this for my kids at home along with lots of other stuff. But this is VERY different. Different because it feels as if I am sort of lost in Noah’s life. It’s as if someone plucked me out of my own life and plopped me down in someone else’s. Now, don’t get me wrong….I wouldn’t trade it for the world. As a mother, allowing all my children to live out their dreams is what I’m supposed to do. At least according to my world view. But it doesn’t mean it’s easy or comfortable for that matter. In fact, sometimes I feel like a fish out of water. I forget what day it is. ALL THE TIME. I sit in the tea shop with my iPad or meander through the streets of Chelsea and suddenly it’s pick up time again. At the end of the day, I often return emails and wonder, “What the hell did I do all day?” Sure, I picked up Noah, dropped off Noah, made sandwiches, did laundry and maybe caught a yoga class. But, come on, really?  What did I do?” And somehow the days go by.

Yoga teaches us that we are not our labels, e.g. “wife”, “yoga teacher,” “accidental stage mom.” The opposite of “human doings,” we are “human beings.” We are here on this earth to be present to all that is. Huh? Yeah, I know. Heavy stuff. But it’s true or at least I believe it’s true. We also have a purpose or sometimes more than one purpose. As Princeton says in Avenue Q (this blog would not be complete with at least one Off-Broadway reference), “What is my purpose?” Most of us think of a purpose as a job, career or role as a parent or spouse. But is that really a purpose or is that more like an identity? And if you take an identity away, what then is your purpose?

I think we all basically have the same purpose, as crazy as this sounds. And that is: To just be…be open to all that is, embrace what life throws at you, and be prepared to make changes and/or go with the flow. Be willing to drop your perceived identity in the flash of an eye. And then…here’s the hardest part: Once that identity is gone, be comfortable with who you really are which has nothing to do with your job, career, role or how much money you make.

So, who am I? A yoga teacher? A writer? A wife? An accidental stage mom? Does it matter? Let’s strip away the labels and what’s left?

This is all I know: I am here and this is where I am supposed to be. Maybe being here for Noah, being truly present, is in essence a way back to myself. Maybe I needed to drop everything I know to be able to fully embrace change and just be here now. Maybe Noah is helping me find my way home.

Categories: Accidental Stage Mom, On the Road, Philosophy, That's Life!, Writing, Yoga | Tags: , , , , , | 10 Comments

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10 thoughts on “Losing My Identity. Finding a Purpose.

  1. Julie

    Great post!! Really thought provoking and from the heart! Xo..Julie

  2. Bonnie Eisner

    I don’t think many people realize how much of their self esteem is tied up in their work identity and, therefore, how huge a loss it is when one loses a job by choice, force or by accident. Perhaps we are better off identifying and finding value in what we do for others in our lives than what we do for a vocation.

  3. Robyn with a “y”, I’m not sure if I’ve commented on your posts before, but I’m here reading along and really enjoying them! I came across your blog through Billy Elliot, as I’m a big fan of the show. Saw it with my partner in London in 2007 and have seen the Broadway show and the Tour another 45 times since. You’ll soon learn that’s not all that uncommon. There are tons of people worldwide who just can’t get enough of this wonderful show! Noah is in great company with the cast and production, too. So many wonderful souls!

    Just wanted to let you know I’m here, reading along and enjoying what you share. And if you’d ever like to grab a bite, I’m just 40 minutes outside the city on Long Island so getting in is no problem. I’m sure your journey on the road will begin soon though anyway, so you’ll never be short of other parents and guardians to chat with!

    So, Robyn with a “y”, don’t be afraid to ask “why” as you have here! You are serving your son beautifully with this ultimate sacrifice for him. The journey ahead of you will be even more exciting and wonderful than you can imagine, so buckle up and enjoy the ride! =) And keep writing!

    • Hi Sean with an “ea”. Thanks so much for reading along. More tales to come. Glad you’re such a big Billy fan!!!

  4. Noah Zidel

    I absolutely love this post from you. I just read it again -this time aloud, to a friend. Good to hear, so validating to hear, people talking about that issue of identity and roles, and “who am I”.
    And, you write so well. I really love reading what you say and how you express it.
    Best of luck! To you and to Noah. And keep the communications coming.

    • Hi Noah,
      So glad you enjoyed the story and hope your friend did too. Thanks so much for reading. Nice to know someone is listening 🙂

  5. Bernadette

    Robyn! What a wonderful post. Lose yourself in the moment, and enjoy each one. It takes some adjustment (and I’m sure you’ve adjusted by now), but Noah is spectacular in this new life. Follow his lead, as if you had a choice! Have fun, enjoy, and see ya!

    • See ya and miss ya Bernadette! Thanks for reading. I am long overdue for another post but things have been sort of busy as ya know…..

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