Most of us find ourselves wearing many hats, men and women alike. God knows I do. Let's see, there's Mrs. Branch (the wife), Mommy (self-explanatory!), Calandra Branch (the workplace budget diva!), Sis. Branch (Rev. Branch's wife/the First Lady), and there's even "user name/password" (my social media presence). But the most important hat that makes all the other hats fit properly is that hat I was born with - Calandra. It is the one that has been molded, shaped and reinvented, sometimes crushed and bruised, but never broken. Sadly, it is the hat that is sometimes most neglected.
Back in October, I found myself amidst a wonderful group of people from my high school. Some of them I knew all those years ago, some I knew only by face, and some I never knew at all. But at the end of the day, I walked away with new friends. Perhaps it was the fact that our school connection began when I was just Calandra, but connecting/reconnecting with them reminded me that above all the identities I share, I can never lose sight of my core being. What was most interesting was I found myself reconnecting not just with others I had met years ago, but in a way, I was reconnecting with Calandra, who sometimes gets lost in the daily routines of my other identities. It was quite cathartic, actually. Ironically enough, I started writing this post shortly thereafter, but yet again, I got sidetracked and my other hats took over. Yet as we finish 2010, I am committed to rediscovering Calandra and not allowing her to get swallowed up by all those hats.
Now before you begin to wonder about the state of my well-being (!), under all these hats I wear, I am the same person - what changes may be nothing more than my mannerisms. I mean after all, the "workplace budget diva" wouldn't speak to her colleagues the same way "Mommy" speaks to her children. It's still Calandra, just fitted for the situation and each hat I have to wear.
The moral of the story is this...never get so caught up in what you do that if someone took that particular hat away from you, you would feel useless or less than a person. As long as you hold tight to the hat you were born with...let NO ONE take from your core...you can survive another day and make it to the next hat you're given. Every once and a while, take those hats off and give yourself a chance to BE yourself and just breathe...WHOOSAAAAAHHHHH!
P.S. - This is dedicated to my BxSci alumni - I love y'all madly!