I've been thinking about identity lately and how we can get stuck with a sense of ourselves that is no longer true. There are parts of us that stay the same and parts that change, but our notion of who we are can sometimes be fixed and possibly prevent us from moving on or trying new directions. Both my husband and I had a particular (and very different) vision of the kind of person we wanted to be and the sort of life we wanted to lead. Most of the time, I think we're at peace with the fact that things haven't turned out like that but sometimes, like everyone, we get frustrated and wonder, what if? There are aspects that we still cling to and of which we should perhaps let go. It's really hard to alter your perception of yourself and to accept that the traits you thought defined your identity might no longer be true or relevant. Becoming a parent has changed my understanding of everything, including myself. Being tested in ways I never imagined has revealed parts of my personality that I didn't know existed, while having to revisit my own childhood anxieties and social issues through my children has forced me to face emotions buried long ago. There are times when I feel a bit lost; it's difficult to find the clarity to work out who you are and what you want. A very good friend said to me the other day: "You are a writer. It's just that right now, you're doing this [meaning motherhood]". It feels pretty all-consuming and I'm struggling to locate an identity beyond that of mama. But that's okay. I just need to remember that I am something else. And to hold on.