red haired woman placing wig on her head looking determined

I Don’t Know Who I Am

Do you ever find yourself thinking, “I don’t know who I am?”

I think it is more common than we realize for both men and women. It can be a scary, lost feeling until we are able to work through it and get back on track.

My daughter called me the other day and said she was going through this emotional dilemma. She is a stay-at-home mom with three sons – ages 4, 5, and 10 months. I recalled how I started to feel like I was losing my identity at about that same time in my own life. I was David’s wife, and Ryan and Tara’s mother, but who was I? At that time, if you asked me who I was, I would say someone who spends the day playing with Barbies and Play-Doh, watching Sesame Street and cooking SpaghettiOs. This was not what I went to college for. I was a theatre major. Somehow, I got lost in the day-to-day family shuffle. 

family of four in the 1990s sitting on couch

It was the first time I realized that I had to find myself again. I loved being a wife and mother, but I needed something for me. I thought about what I wanted to do and how to achieve it. I got my parents to babysit in the evenings and I started acting at the NSB Little Theatre. I was back. I found my self-worth and still managed to be there for my family. 

Our lives are constantly changing. Sometimes it may be a little too fast or unexpected and we are left doubting who we are or what our new role in life is. When this happens, you need to take a long look at yourself and find what will make you happy. What will make you feel validated. What will give you self-worth. Only you know these answers. 

In 2012, I was going through a rough time. I lost my parents only 17 months apart. My kids were successfully on their own, and I was going through full-blown menopause – causing my husband to stay as far away from me as possible. I felt so lost and alone. I promised my dad I would go skydiving for him, so I did. What I didn’t know was how that one event could change my attitude and bring me back to life. I went from a sad, lonely woman to a bad-ass, extreme sports rockstar (at least in my mind). Who knew?

When you are feeling lost, try new things, take chances. Start a new hobby or make a vision board to help give you some direction. Sooner or later you will meet yourself along the way.

karin Jenkins headshot and biography

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