What we do is not who we are.
I was looking at Instagram recently and came across a post on Linda Evangelista. A popular super model from the 1990’s. She was and still is a beautiful, striking woman that drew attention to herself and the modelling industry because she was a different beauty, noted for her resemblance to Sophia Loren. She was in an elite group of ‘super models' and was quoted for saying to Vogue, “we don’t wake up for anything less than $10,000 a day.” Bold and strong. She was noticeable and memorable, with a long list of accomplishments in the fashion industry, making appearances in music videos, runway shows and voted one of the 'most beautiful' in the 90’s.
She virtually disappeared in 2010 and stopped working. She now reveals she has been disfigured by a cosmetic procedure. I am not going to dispute how she feels or what has happened. I searched for an image to see for myself how unrecognizable she was. After all, she is a woman younger than myself, 56, and how disfigured could she be?
What I saw of the images of Linda Evangelista now is a strikingly beautiful 56 year old woman. She still remains the envy of many people. Her story is that what she wanted in a cosmetic procedure created the opposite effect. However, by any other mortal standards, anyone with that face would be honoured to have her beauty. The tragedy is not the cosmetic procedure. The tragedy is she is known to look a certain way and SHE feels she is not the same person.
To me, she is. This is what hit me most and why I wanted to talk about the 'identity crisis’ we all face. It happens when we are known for something we do, not for who we are.
If you are only known for being beautiful, well, when that shifts - what happens to your self worth? That's the bigger question.
Do we feel less than or perhaps shaken when the 'title' we are known for is removed and replaced? That will happen when you put all your self worth in one thing. We are so much more than: how we look what we do what we have done When you are facing retirement and the job you have always done is not what you're going to be doing any longer is there not a feeling of loss? Do questions surface, what do I do and who am I?
It’s easier to describe functions of what you do…but the real gift is to give yourself permission to find out who you are. I recently read that Jim Carrey, the Canadian actor, has decided to call it quits in acting. I think it’s brave and brilliant. He says he has decided he wants to focus on family and that he feels he has done what he came to do in his acting career. My husband, Rick always says it's best to leave wanting more than to regret staying too long and being asked to leave. Interesting concept. What I love most about opening ourselves up beyond the boundaries of ‘what we do’…is we get to try on another concept of ourselves, another outfit, another challenge. We get to break the mold and change the landscape.
We really are NOT what we do. It's just a piece of who we are. This is the time to embrace and have courage to explore the new possibilities that come out of the change.
I believe in silver linings and that everything has a purpose. Stay with me on this...if we don’t embrace change, we will stay as is. That’s not what we are here for, we are here to move forward. Then comes the question after who are you - what can I do next?
The secret sauce in all of this is how you react. Get excited! Jump in. All in. Look for the endless possibilities of WHAT NEXT? Ask yourself, what do I want?