Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Not Alone Series: Identity

Thanks to Alex for the topic suggestion this week! Her guest post can be found over at Jen's!

When it was decided to talk about identity this week, I was really excited, because this is something I've thought about a lot. Your own personal identity is important throughout your entire life, but it's something that I think single people especially struggle with.

Specifically in college I knew a number of people who just seemed lost unless if they were in a relationship. It was like they had no idea who they themselves were without someone to be with. I found it incredibly annoying...I mean, you have to be your own person, right?
It made zero sense to me...until my relationship ended.

We only dated for a couple of months (long enough for me to realize that we weren't "meant to be") but we'd been really close friends before dating and so breaking up took a toll on my life as a whole. I felt like I'd not only lost a person who cared about me and wanted to be with me, but also my best friend. It was heart-wrenching. And as much as it logically made sense for us to break up (I couldn't ever see us raising children together...red flag!), every part of my life seemed to reek of "us". Plus, when you're in a relationship, there's such a sense of security...knowing that at the end of the day, there's someone out there who has your back. Losing that felt like losing a part of myself and despite both my heart and my head telling me that it was the right decision, my insecurities desperately wanted for us to get back together.

I really had to take a step back and allow myself to get back to being me once again.
It took time, and my ex constantly trying to win me back didn't make it any easier, but I'm really so grateful that through prayer and self-discovery, I was able to persevere and get back to me.
Getting back into that relationship or dating someone new would have only been a band-aid hiding the truth that I had lost sight of who I was outside of the relationship. But after reclaiming who I was as an individual, it didn't matter who I dated or who I broke up with, I still had a strong grip on who I was as a person.

While it's been awhile since then and I don't quite remember how I got to that place, I had to somewhat reclaim my identity last year upon moving to a brand new city and working full-time. After being a student for so long and not having the time to look deeper into what makes me me, it's been like an adventure to find out things about myself that I never knew before. Rediscovering my love for sewing, cooking, and reading has been so wonderful and having the time to now invest in those parts of my life is even better.

Also having to break out of my comfort zone and reaching out to make friends has been a really huge growing experience for me, but it's paid off! I've mentioned before how I'm starting a young adult group at my parish, and being able to invest my time in an "extracurricular" such as that is such a gift! Just being involved in my parish is such a formative experience....I might even join a choir this fall!

Overall, I think it's super important that we as young people are self-aware. Even after marriage and having babies, we need to know who we are as people outside of the "wife/mommy role". I think this is crucial to our own self-worth.

What are your thoughts on identity? Please link up with us below! Any and all perspectives are welcomed!
And I'm going to ditto Jen and call out you married ladies (Trista and Martha!), please join us if you have something to share!


Next week's topic:
Is it possible to be "just friends" with a guy?

In the interest of helping everyone prepare more in advance, here are the next few topics!

7/30: Favorite Resources
Are there any books, songs, prayers, etc that have helped you during this time of your life? Sharing is caring!

8/6: Envy and Singlehood
Interpret as you will....

So...you think you are called to marriage? What are you doing about it? Go to a young adults activity! Sign up for CatholicMatch.com! Do SOMETHING that allows you to take an active part in writing your story. Praying is important, and we love writing about our thoughts and feelings, but we need to be doing more than just that! God won't just hand everything to us, we've got to make an effort as well!
Or....feeling that religious life is where you're headed? Maybe reach out to a community you're interested in! Have coffee with a sister from another community! Pray, duh. But, it's important to be active in your search for God's will.
On 8/13 we'll all be talking about what we did and how it went!
What's a community without challenging each other?? Can't wait to hear about it!

We really really REALLY need your ideas for more topics! We've received a few great ones, but please don't be shy! Jen and I have said that WE have a lot of topics WE would like to talk about, but WE are NOT ALL OF YOU! The "we" really needs to include all of us. We are in this together. Yes, Jen and I are hosting the linkup, but we really want everyone to be involved. Please email us or comment on our posts about things you would like to discuss. Anything from the silly to the really serious. Whatever you find that is on your heart, something you normally discuss with your girlfriends, etc, there might be someone else who wants to chat about that, too! So, please let us know! No topic is out of the question!


  1. It is so important to "keep" your identity in a relationship, I believe this for marriage as well. I have seen friends loose themselves for a guy, I have done it once and it caused me to take a hiatus from dating, yet I see others rushing right into another relationship. I'm glad you were able to reclaim you.

    1. You're so right! I think retaining your identity within any relationship you have (friendship, dating, marriage, parenting, etc.) is crucial!

  2. Thanks for sharing about your past relationship with us! You definitely have to have a grasp on who you are before you can give yourself away to another person. I also wrote about getting out of my comfort zone. The rewards are so great, it's just that taking that first step is so hard! Luckily, I have friends who love to push me.

    Here's a topic idea: Listening to God. It's something I really struggle with. How do you listen to God? Is there really a right way to listen? There are times when I feel as though God is not answering, but I know somehow He is. How can I recognize Him? (Something along these lines. I would really love to read how others go about this.)

    1. Thanks for the suggestion, Veronica!

      PS I love your name, it's my middle name! :)

    2. Ohh... I love that suggestion, too! :) Thanks, Veronica!

  3. This is a great post! It's such an easy thing to lose who you are when you date someone. I've seen first hand and in others how losing sight of yourself can make a relationship not healthy. One of my pet peeves now is when couples are constantly texting or talking every second of the day, I used to do it but now it's a priority for me in a relationship to not be so attached to someone that we can't spend 5 minutes without a text!

    1. I completely agree, Danielle! Though I must admit that the relationship I wrote about above had A LOT of FB/texting/calling, etc. Which I think contributed to my difficulty in detaching myself...once you're conditioned to be in constant contact, it's hard to go back to more healthy practices. Thanks for joining up! :)


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