I was thinking about roles earlier—how we identify ourselves according to the roles that we perform. We live in a culture that has a tendency to be obsessed with categorizing and putting things into little boxes, which is annoying. But we all tend to have these roles that we fit into, like I might have the role of mother, or I might identify with the role of writer. We identify multiple roles simultaneously, all the time, so people are constantly wearing different hats. You don’t necessarily take off one hat when you operate in the space of another hat. For instance, I might be acting in the role of Mom when I drive my daughter to work, but I’m also wearing a driver hat, and I’m also wearing black woman hat. All these things overlap and intersect constantly.
One thing that I’m trying to be mindful of these days is that because one can have multiple roles, they don’t have to define one’s self-view. All those functions can be true simultaneously. Even being many things at once doesn’t equal the sum total of anyone’s identity. Leaning too much into or identifying too much with designations is very limiting because they don’t account for so many other things that one could do or be that maybe hasn’t been revealed yet. So it’s not necessary to be so tied into or wedded to the roles that are put on us, sometimes without our consent. Gender is usually (not always) assigned to someone based on their genitals. But we now know that gender identity can differ from gender assignments.
I’m thinking about this topic in part because I have this online space, this website, that’s usually just sitting here. I haven’t used the blog or put anything much in there because I felt like this is a writing space and my author page, and so I should only put stuff there that pertains to my writing, or writing in general. I limited the content of this page. And further I limited it to specific kinds of writing like—primarily fantasy and horror. But that’s not the only kind of writing I want to do. Sometimes I want to just write about my thoughts. So this space stagnated because of the role that I assigned to the site. The beauty is that I can choose to expand it.
What I want to do now is use this blog space to write whatever I’m thinking about at any given time, unlimited. And further, I don’t want to limit my writing anymore. Maybe sometime I will write a romance or maybe I’ll write a children’s book (unlikely but you never know). Perhaps a memoir or a self-help book, who knows. I want to start using this space more than I have. In terms of looking at the roles that identify me, I personally am trying to lean away from any specific designations because even in a particular job, you don’t do just one thing, right?
I used to work in accounting. I had multiple tasks and responsibilities—sometimes I had to do payroll. Sometimes I had to do travel reimbursement. Sometimes I had to do escrow accounting. Within a role, there can be multiple branches and there needs to be fluidity in moving between them. So being wedded into one way of identifying oneself or what an identity looks like at one point doesn’t necessarily allow for growth and expansion. If one’s goal is to keep growing and expanding, they have to release the idea of being this thing because it might go through many iterations and manifestations. So I think this space is going to evolve, and I am going to evolve with it.