Titles

Cashier. Captain. Mrs. Teacher. Writer. Editor. Mother.

From 1997 to 2003, I wrote so much, it could fill many volumes. When people asked, “What do you do?” I heard the question as, “What are you?”

“I am a writer.” That title, and that occupation, was hard to commit to. Only after I gave up acting and psychology as careers did I choose to be a writer, despite the scant pay.

Then I decided I needed a steady paycheck, so I trained and worked as a book editor, and that is who I’ve been for the past decade.

Along comes the title of mother to degauss my screen. While you have the duration of pregnancy to get used to the title, motherhood is not something you can empathize with until you’ve become one. I was reluctant to give up old titles for this new one. (Every new title is like a crisp new suit; it gets more comfortable after you wear it.)

This blog has helped me surrender to being a mother. Its title, “Mommy Theorist” (now my title), was my husband’s conception. When I asked him what I should call my blog, he spat it right out and it stuck. He’s the cleverest.

I was afraid to get pigeonholed as a mommy blogger, and even more worried about losing hipster cred for being a breeder. That actually happened. Some hipsters I used to hang with have snubbed me and maybe felt I snubbed them when I moved out of the city. I’m part of a crowd I, too, once ignored. I’d scoff at ladies on Manhattan sidewalks disrupting the flow of pedestrians with strollers. I was always in a hurry, and I can’t walk very fast, plus I hate rushing in the first place, so I’d be in a huff most mornings on my way to work. Well, one could say it was a buildup of tension from riding crowded trains to an office where general malaise had set in. You know those offices.

I even had the title, “Editor of the Year,” in 2008 (which made it baffling when Condé Nast laid me off in 2010, when I was six months pregnant, too).

We move through titles as we evolve. I now see that each title carries residue and the residue accumulates, just as our experience is cumulative.

I am all of the above, at present. Contained in the layers of my persona are the attributes of sailor, summer girl, horse rider, pilot, then wife, now mother—amazing developments both mundane and miraculous.

What titles has society given you? What do you call yourself?

In what way are the titles you’ve been given restricting? Can you break out? Can you be all at once and many more?

I got this lucite trophy, when what I really wanted was a raise.

I really was a yacht captain for five months.

*Special thanks to Benmio McCrea for encouraging me to start this post from scratch after it was lost in a technical glitch.

About MommyTheorist

Editor, writer, photographer, and new mom
This entry was posted in Marriage, Parenting, Psychology, Relationships, social networking and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Titles

  1. oliarights says:

    I was told by a friend that our generation is supposed to switch careers 8 times. We should move through titles fearlessly, its a new world! You are doing it!

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