Monday, June 4, 2012

Identity in Balance Recap

I've really, really enjoyed the submissions for the Identity in Balance Writing Series. I thought I'd take a moment to recap what's been shared so far. Also, since it's summer and I know that some people have a bit more free time than they did when I first put out the call for submissions, I'm going to share the prompt again. I'd love to share your contributions!

So far we've heard from the following identities in balance:

Danielle wrote about being a feminist who submits to her husband.

Scott shared the challenges to balancing his identity as a stay-at-home dad. 

Jennifer wrote about being a feminist mother who wears lipstick.

Shannon wrote about being Catholic and feminist. 

Mitch wrote about being a hunter and a conservationist.

Emma wrote about being upper-middle class and not having a car.

Want to join these fine folks with a reflection of your own? Of course you do! So send your submissions to balancingjane [at] gmail [dot] com. Here's the prompt:

We all wear many labels. Some we wear our whole lives, and some shift as our relationships to those around us change. We are mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, teachers, students, friends, feminists, Democrats, Republicans, daughters, sons, employees, bosses, and a host of other identities that weave together to make us who we are in any particular time and space. Sometimes those identities easily merge together, but often there are excesses in the overlap, spaces that might confuse us, spaces that make it challenging to figure out who we are. Balancing Jane maintains that it is in those spaces that we find out the most about ourselves, that when we are forced to simultaneously own two labels that we might not have placed together we figure out what we stand for. It is also by inhabiting those spaces that we learn to appreciate other people, for if we can be more than one thing, then so can they, and that means that our preconceived notions of them are always--at best--an oversimplification.  
Pick any two labels that you wear (by choice or necessity) and reflect on how they intersect. Start with I am _________ and _______. Of course, these are not your only two labels, but these should be two that have, when combined, given you some insight into yourself or the world around you. In approximately 250-500 words, share what wearing those two labels has meant to you. 
It can be an essay, story, poem, photograph (I think there's some great photography potential here), etc. Send me your submissions at balancingjane [at] gmail [dot] com or post it on your own blog and send me the link so I can share it here. Be sure to include a short byline about yourself (and linking to your own blog, if you have one) if you want. I look forward to reading your reflections!


  1. I am a Christian and a Democrat. Not possible, some folks say. Yes it is. Jesus was a brown-skinned socialist who healed people. Cool. I don't have brown skin and am not a socialist, at least not in the voting place. Even at church I am definitely in a minority. At my age (72) I have been struggling with identity crises left and right. I was forcibly retired from being a precinct chair by the stupid redistricting which should be done by machine or a non-political group, but that is another story. I have cancer. Do I want to live or die? Is this a "Christian" or a Democratic party issue? Today I realized after a summer spent mostly in doctors' offices and hospitals, I want to live. My lack of strength takes away the gardening identity. Cooking a small meal is difficult. (Used to I'd invite everyone I saw over and cook for all of them.) But I keep scrambling to maintain a viable identity. Hope you are too. And my email is not othermother6. That is obsolete. Try Marge Wood on Facebook.

    1. Hi Marge. If you are interested in writing a post for the Identity in Balance series, I'd love to have it! I really appreciate the way that you're looking at identity at something that changes over time, and--in the case of ability--perhaps quickly and against our will. I have an email button at the top of the blog, and I'm at balancingjane [at] gmail [dot] com.