How do you describe the roles you play but by the many relationships you have? I mean you are someone in every interaction. You play a parent to your child, a wife to your husband, a daughter to your parents, a teacher to your students, a customer to your vendor, a client to the manager. There is never a moment in your life when you aren’t playing a role. But what defines you as a person are the roles that are important to you.
As a woman, role-playing comes easily to us. As a mother, the role gets further refined by the many jobs one handles – coach, cook, chauffer, teacher, medical assistant, friend, guide, philosopher, mentor and much, much more. One changes from one role to another like a chameleon – the external appearance changes but the basics remain the same. Sometimes the change is smooth and the transition effortless. But sometimes, the changes need much more than just one’s participation.
While in school and college, I remained a student – free of responsibility, totally self-involved, short-sighted about life and the world at large. Once I stepped over the line which marked the transition from student to professional, the magnitude of the roles being played increased both in scope and intensity.
As a teacher for the primary classes, I realized I was more than just a teacher in the class. The waist-high students, all hungry to grow up and emulate an adult, were watching my every move. I was being evaluated, in their subconscious, to see if I was a good role model. It was a big responsibility. The expectations of this role were high and that meant I needed to re-examine my own self.
The day I donned the uniform for the first time, I realized my role as a Naval officer went beyond the pristine whites I wore. It was the symbol of our nation’s pride and strength. I no longer was a young carefree woman who could do what she wanted without giving a thought to what the world thought about it. Now I was responsible to the nation. I had hundreds of young girls looking up at me as their role model. And I couldn’t just shrug it off. This role was challenging as well as exciting.
The role which has been the most exacting yet enjoyable was the one I started playing when my first born arrived. My world spun in an unknown orbit and I was absolutely clueless. I had to learn from the moment I first laid my eyes on her, and believe me, I am still learning.
Life is dynamic and that’s the beauty of it. With every change that it brings, it ushers in a new role for us. And the joy of this new role is that you learn something new about yourself. I’m waiting to see what is the next role I get to play.