There’s a scene in Eat Pray Love where Julia Roberts (aka Liz Gilbert) announces over a Roman dinner with friends that the one word that epitomizes all of being is “writer.”
Do you remember it? I’ll never forget it.
In response, her more evolved friends explain – with pity in their eyes – that “writer” describes what she does, it’s not who she is.
In that moment, just 2 months into being a first-time new mama, I experienced my first identity crisis.
I was already struggling with the realization that I was now a mom and I had to somehow weave that word into my identity (not that I knew how to do that). And, my other word, “communications director,” was no longer an acceptable word, at least according to the gorgeous people on my screen. My mind was reeling, and I quickly melted into a puddle of tears and confusion.
I was lost – completely and utterly lost.
Sadly, that was the first time. It happened again when when second daughter was about 3 months old. And, then a third time about 2 years later when I realized that I didn’t have the drive for my career that I once did.
The last was the most devastating. Was I no longer fulfilled by my work because I was now a mom? Did my children strip me of my ambition?
In those months that followed I felt like my two personas – Career Lisa and Mama Lisa – were at odds with each other. I was unhappy, stressed and preoccupied trying to figure out how I’d get out of the hole I felt buried within. What’s worse, I knew that I wasn’t being the best mom to my girls or the best partner to my husband or the best friend or the best employee. The guilt was unbearable at times.
After many late nights, filled journals and the occasional (okay, fine…frequent) cry in the shower, I knew something had to change.
I started to tell myself that I needed to separate what I do from who I am. And that meant ditching the labels and working toward goals that worked for all of the spheres of my life. I’m not just Career Lisa or Mama Lisa. I’m also Friend Lisa, Loves Wine Lisa, Book Lover Lisa. And, I needed to prioritize all of my favorite parts of me.
It’s been a process with some really ugly moments, but now that I have a definition of success that fits my life I’m in a much better, happier place today.
If you’re experiencing an identity crisis of sorts like I did, then I really hope you’ll take a watch of today’s episode of The Crazy Good Life. I share the two things I did to redefine success for me today – not five years from now and definitely not five years ago.
Once you’ve a chance to watch, I’d really love to hear if you’ve had a similar experience and what you are doing to redefine success to fit your life.
And, if you’re ready to redefine success for your life as it is today, be sure to download the worksheet below so you can better align your goals with your priorities.
All my love,