Identity Crisis

What the search for my perfect "tagline" has taught me

Identity crisis

It feels like every day, I face the question of “who am I?” and “who am I going to be?”

It’s exhausting.  I keep trying to decide a lovely tagline to place on my social media profiles, but every one of them feels wrong.  I am a lot of things – truly.

Trying to pin down what I do is actually hard.  So, I thought about just writing: I do stuff.

I really do wear a lot of hats.

Hi, Who are you?

I am, by training and years of experience, a nurse practitioner.  And now, I teach clinical skills.  Therefore, by all accounts there – I’m a medical professional and a teacher.

At home, I am pursuing my second master’s degree in a field called instructional design.  So, I am learning about learning (sophisticated, metacognitively that is…..only certain people will get that).

But, I also write – a lot.  I write journal type entries for miles but I also started writing what I consider blends of personal and professional development.

I also love exercise.  When I first decided to leave the ER environment after nearly 10 years, I became a personal trainer.  Turns out, a life entirely focused on working out wasn’t as much fun as I’d thought.  And, I knew nothing about business or marketing and I didn’t realize how important it was to truly care about customers.  Also, add to that the fact that carbs and sugar are my favorite vegetables and you have the makings of some really confused onlookers.  

Wait, there’s more.  A year and a half ago, I completed life coach training.  That’s right. 8 months of reading, group calls, exercises, videos, etc.  Thank you Martha Beck.

Lately, I have also been spending a lot of time on a process called performance improvement.  I learned about it in class but I haven’t really used it in the “real world”. It seems fascinating.  A systematic way of addressing performance problems or opportunities.  Sounds fun, right?  Solving problems and getting to use questions to find answers.  I am signed up for a workshop to learn how to do it.  Yay!  No?  Okay, maybe that’s just me.

I also love music – all forms of music, from really old – as my husband calls it “twangy” country to hip hop and rap.

Did I forget to mention that I am also a mom, wife, sister, daughter, cat lady, and obsessed house organizer?

What do you do?

The thing is, I don’t want to decide on one.  They are all a part of me.  And, the overall theme is that I really just want to do a good job.  I like good processes, good questions, and I like learning about new things.  I love anything that makes me think about things differently.  I am genuinely able to switch hats and do what is in front of me.  And, all of these things tend to have areas of overlap that I am able to fuse together at certain points.

Even though, the majority of the marketing advice I hear says to decide what you are and not to confuse the audience, I don’t have just one nice tagline that sums up who I am.  So there.  I give up trying.  The daily cloud over my head is only because I can’t look at myself in the mirror and decide my title.  I don’t have just one.  I have always just wanted to be free to be me – wherever I am.

So, the answer to Oprah Magazine’s front cover this month “What are you longing to do?” – the answer is: everything I want. 


You can also find me on twitter @brandylrhodes1, instagram @brandylrhodes, and LinkedIn under Brandy Rhodes.  

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