“Good Morning! This is Ashley, Ani’s mom.”
…I do this all the time: making phone calls, running into people at the grocery store I seldom see, introducing myself to strangers, making appointments, and so on. It never fails. Why do I feel the need to place a title with my name?
Easy. Because I don’t think people will know who I am otherwise. I don’t think that when the person I’m intending to call answers the phone and I say “This is Ashley” will know who I am.
I’m “that girl” that blends in everywhere I go. I know people because I’m a nice person and I’m observant. I try to remember the people I meet. I may not know every first name, but I remember their faces and their first impressions. I like to make new friends, and although I remember them they rarely remember me.
Maybe it’s because I’m one of the few hundred thousand “Ashleys” in the world (trust me; my children will never have common names). Maybe it’s because no matter how badly I want to, I still struggle with being who I really am in public. Maybe it is because I’m quiet and I don’t say or do anything to stand out in their minds. I’m the run-of-the-mill “girl next door” and I’m too damn nice. That’s why.
I feel like everything about me defines who I am, besides who I really am. Does that make sense? First and foremost, if someone asks me about myself I’ll tell them I’m a mom. That’s the most important thing to me, so it doesn’t bother me. However, the other things kind of do tick me off when I feel the need to “explain” myself. People don’t need to know which side of town I live on, who my great-grandfather was, who my in-laws are, and who my friends are.
Looking like an exhausted shell of a woman standing in line, “I have a 3-year-old who doesn’t sleep well.”
All alone with a ring on my finger, a child in tow, and a cart full of groceries (every.single.time.), “My husband works out of town.”
“As if it’s any of their business to begin with,” I scoff! But then my conscience comes in and whispers “…calm thyself, they didn’t even ask!” …Point well made, conscience. It’s me who feels as though I need to explain.
I’m not saying I’m not proud of the things that make me who I am, because that certainly isn’t the case. I just wish that I could somehow find a way to be who I am without a title behind my name.
I’m Ashley. I hope one day very soon that will be good enough for me.
How do you define yourself in a world full of titles?