Subscribe to one more voice in the human choir Subscribe to one more voice in the human choir's comments

Last Sunday Dave Tomlinson’s talk at St. Luke’s was about identity which, of course, got me thinking about how all the big changes in my life recently have affected my sense of identity.

For the last twelve years, so much of my identity was wrapped up in Calvin College: my job, my various roles, and who I was to the people there. Yesterday I was on the Admissions website checking out the new photos of the Admissions Counselors (most of whom used to be my Admissions Counselors), and it was so weird not to be part of that world anymore. It’s also really strange when Calvin events are posted on Facebook, and I know lots of people who will be going to them, but I’m not one of them.

So far my primary identity here in London/the UK is “James’ wife.” That’s not a bad thing, and I’ve formed some great friendships with people who originally met me as “James’ wife.” But there’s a whole lot more to me than that. I think that one of the reasons I so treasure my friendship here with Lisa is that not only is she a fellow American negotiating London, but she first met me and James at the same time and doesn’t have a history with James that goes back further than my history with him.

My musings about identity are nothing approaching “crisis” level. I’ve always had a pretty solid sense of self. (One of the glorious things about being a “thirtysomething” is that it doesn’t even matter so much as it once did.) I’m still a wife and a daughter and a sister and a granddaughter and a friend. I’m a lover of music, film, books, good food, good wine, etc. (Culture snob?) I’m a person of faith whose faith compels her to want to make the world a better place, especially for the marginalized and underprivileged. Those are a lot of good things to be. And as our life develops in London, I’m hoping to become a lot more things: neighbor, contributing church member, co-worker, regular patron, [hopefully someday] mother… and who knows what else. I’m looking forward to finding out.

2 Responses

  1. #1

    I know how you feel. In the last 10 years, I have moved around a lot, and met a lot of people, some that I got to know as Chris’s wife, other who met me at the same time as Chris, but still as connected to him some how, i.e. Pastor’s wife. I too really value the friendships I make independently of that label and treasure and foster the friendships that I carried into our marriage and thru all our moves.

    I find moves however to be very freeing because you have the ability to shake parts of your identity that you don’t care for anymore but where still pigeonholed into, since you are building a new history with people. I’ll let you know how this new move works out for us.

    I will be thinking of you.

  2. #2

    You sum yourself up well 🙂 One of the things I have always admired about you is that you seem content with who you are – and so you should be, you beautiful, strong, courageous woman!

    I resonated with what you said about Lisa. There is something about having people around with whom you have a shared history. I was so glad that a few of my friends had come to GR to visit us so that when Brian moved here, he had a few folks who knew him before he lived here… if that makes sense!

Leave a Reply