- 1.the fact of being who or what a person or thing is.
For me personal identity has always been a problem. As the youngest of four siblings I was always referred to as someone’s little sister. One of the maths teachers at secondary school actually said to me in my first lesson with him “oh, another one, I hope you’re going to be as good as your brother”. To which I replied “I’ll be as good as me and see where that gets us”. There were several occasions growing up where I had to make my own voice heard instead of being an extension of an older sibling.
When I got married I became C’s wife and was often introduced by others (not by him) as “this is his wife”. Apparently not having my own name.
Then our daughter came along and I became R’s mum. Again, no name of my own except in a very small group of other misfit mums.
My working life has been the only chance for me to forge my own way. Employers and colleagues have never met family members, other than maybe a brief introduction to my husband or daughter. This is where I get to be me, no one else.
As I have progressed through my career I’ve moved into management and have managed very large teams of staff, one team had 250 staff who worked around the clock. So then I became the XX department manager. You can even use the internal telephone system to ask for the XX manager without mentioning a name and you get put through to me.
My last three roles at work all started out because colleagues were looking for something and another colleague suggested my name. Yes I had to go through the proper recruitment process but I hope I got each role on merit, not because of who I know.
Within bellringing circles I have started to carve out my own name in that I work on behalf of the local Association and the Central Council. People have heard of my name even if they’ve not seen my face. I’m not in it for the glory, I do it because I can help. I’m not a particularly brilliant ringer although recently someone assumed I was just because they’d heard of me.
A couple of years ago I was heavily involved in an international bellringing project. I got asked to run it because someone had been told that I would be good. My reputation for getting things done had been noticed. This has led me on to the Public Relations Officer roles and I hope some good is starting to show.
Here I am not compared as a younger sibling, nor only invited because of who I happen to have married, nor as a chaperone to a now more than competent adult daughter.
I am here because I have earned it and although my Imposter Syndrome may get the better of me at times, people know MY name (even if they do continually miss spell it)!