Sunday, April 29, 2012

Identity Crisis

When a person makes a major life change, there is an often unexpected phenomenon that occurs. The identity crisis. The surprise is not in that it occurs but in that we are caught by surprise at all. After all... Isn't this what a major life change means? Changing our identity?

Still, the feeling of emptiness is overwhelming. As I left the building yesterday, I had nothing hanging over my head from work. I had shredded every personnel document in my files. I cleaned out my email of any pending work. I even left my grad school text books on the shelf in my office for my successor to deal with. As I left, there was no doubt that I was no longer a librarian.

No. Longer. A. Librarian.

I have been a librarian for about twenty years now. That's longer than I was a student. Or a wife. Or anything else in my life, really. I have yet to be ANYTHING for twenty years other than a librarian with the exception of being a daughter or a sister. It has been my constant. And now, I am something else.

Since I haven't truly begun learning how to be a travel agent, this means that my primary roles at this moment are mother and wife. And interestingly, both these roles were very difficult for me to accept to begin with. I have a pretty bad fear of commitment, so the two years after our wedding were filled with serious anxiety and panic on my part. (Chris, thank goodness, is cool as a cucumber and held my hand through the whole ordeal.) Then, the first six days after giving birth, all I wanted to do was put her back to cook longer. I was so not ready for her to be dependent on me. And I was so uncomfortable with the title of Mom.

Now, however, both titles are points of pride for me. As was being a librarian. And now I am not. For the next few weeks while I focus on our house and my health, I am wife and mother and friend and sister. But I am not librarian. As this leaves me a little empty inside. The future is exciting and limitless, but still, I mourn the end of the past.

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