Personal,  ZoeReverie

ZoeReverie: Identity crisis and coming to terms with who I really am

ZoeReverie posts tell of the author’s contemplations about life, and are often written to inspire herself. How narcissistic. Lol.

Today’s post talks about identity crisis, particularly mine. I hope that perhaps by sharing my story, someone out there reading might be able to relate, and find the courage to accept and love yourself even when everything’s so confusing and hard.

Hmm.. Let me see, where do I start?

Remnants of my past self

After going through an oppressive and limiting childhood that defined my character, for about 20 years, I was a pretty much conformative and shy person; preferring to suppress my own thoughts and voice to keep out of harm’s way. You see, everything had to be done according to my mother’s wishes, otherwise all hell breaks loose. Overly harsh punishments and overreaction to trivial matters made me fearful. (Now when I read parenting articles advising parents not to overreact, I can totally understand the impact it has on the child.)

Fast forward to me at this point in life right now, I seem to be making up for lost time, because I’m doing so many things at once. I hold many hats, play many roles, and have many faces. I have my beauty blog Mypeaceofheaven, and I have my sewing business Beary Naise. Beauty blogging and sewing, which I BOTH love very much. Some days I love attending events, meeting people and connecting, most days I am doing my work at home in T-shirt and shorts. Some days I feel like a ravishing diva, and then other days I feel like a wallflower who would rather spend her time at libraries than makeup stores. That’s not all, the responsibilities that I have for the two are very contrasting as well. For blogging, I have to put myself out there, interact with new people, be lucky enough to get pampered and treated like VIP (because everything’s so well thought out for us). For Beary Naise, I take a backseat with my customer as my focus, doing all I can to craft a special bag for him/her. Don’t get me wrong, it is perfectly alright to be either of these two. But for me, when the two major roles in my life don’t intersect with each other, and with each being so different from one another, I feel as if I am living a double life.

Worse, add my family environment to the mixture, I am in fact living a triple life. Because of my mother’s extremely strong rejection of my business venture, I’ve had to do my work at Hammy’s house. The backlash was so serious that my mother and I have stopped talking. In fact, nobody talks to each other at home because it’s just so mentally draining to deal with all that shouting, drama, and negativity. So, I can be bubbly, happy and talkative, whenever I reach home, I have no place in the family to speak out at all. I may have achieved a milestone in my blog or business, yet when I go home at night, I am nothing. All my happiness and pride stripped away… Hammy’s mother calls me “Cinderella”, albeit jokingly. But such a life is ever so real to me.

So in the day, I juggle my 2 current identities – Mypeaceofheaven and Beary Naise – and then also have to deal with the one I portray at home – my past self. It is this past self that stunts my progress on the other two. It carries with it all the insecurities, fears, and self-limiting beliefs that I had grown up with. It latches onto Mypeaceofheaven and Beary Naise, creating a more-difficult-than-usual creative and entrepreneurial journey. I can only tell myself that every morning I wake up is a new day, and hope to leave whatever negativity I experienced at night at home. And everyday I give thanks for the love and care Hammy and his family has showered on me. Despite it all, I am a really blessed girl.

Mypeaceofheaven | Singapore Beauty Blog

Reconciliation

Living with so many sides of me can be mentally exhausting… Recently I’ve been feeling a little worn out from having to go from extreme highs to equally extreme lows. Since I might never be able to resolve the situation at home, I thought I might try to deal with the two prominent sides of me: Mypeaceofheaven and Beary Naise.

I used to think that blogging is an escape from my work. I used to think going to events, socializing, enjoying getting sponsored things, don’t define me. That it’s just a momentary distraction. I thought I should be defined as the girl who owns her own sewing business, down-to-earth, successful, firm and certain. Yet I’m sure some of my blog posts here show that I can be quite a bimbo, easily excited, unsure, and awkward being too. I never was able to reconcile the two sides of me. When I go for blog events, I introduce myself as a blogger. When I go to business meetings, I am a bag maker entrepreneur. Now you know why the double life? I felt like I didn’t have a true north… which is it am I? “Just choose one and grow that!” Isn’t that what most people do?

But then one day, I realised. F* it. I was being so harsh on myself. Why am I forcing myself to being either or? Why can’t I be brave, yet afraid? Why can’t I love sewing/making bags, and have an appreciation for gorgeous beauty products as well? Why can’t I feel comfortable in my T-shirt and shorts, and also enjoy a face full of make up? Why can’t I be the multi-sided person that I truly am?

Isn’t that how society works? People ask what do you work as, and you reply with one answer. “Oh, I’m a lawyer.”, “I’m a teacher.”, “I’m an entrepreneur.” Why are we limiting ourselves to a one-dimensional identity? I’m sure many of us are much more, can be much more, yet we limit ourselves subconsciously.

So now, I’ve come to realisation with who I am, and growing to become. I am going to try to consciously lift the self-imposed limit on my identity. To know that it is OK to love so many things and be passionate about them. I am going to accept that I am a multi-faceted person who should not be defined by any labels. Perhaps this is the way to grow.

Is there any one out there who struggles with irreconcilable multiple identities as well? Please know that you’re not alone, stay calm, and we can overcome it.

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