Tag Archives: identity

community dreams

winniequoteSo I’ve been thinking a lot lately about community. The community that I long to have is starkly different from the community that I currently have. I dream about a community that starts with friends and grows to include spouses and children. I dream about our kids growing up together, seeing each other often and spontaneously, playing in the streets and running back and forth between houses, sharing snacks and swimsuits, sharing Thanksgiving and New Years Eve and the Fourth of July.

I dream of close friends who have “been there through thick and thin,” who show up at each other’s homes with meals and Kleenex and go out for girls’ nights and pedicures. I imagine my children growing up with a small circle of other adult figures around them, friends and mentors of mine who pray for them and help parent them, who fill in where I lack (anyone want to sew a Halloween costumes?) and who attend my kids’ weddings while recalling their first birthdays.

I am often frustrated, here in New York City, because my community doesn’t look like this. Continue reading


Filed under community, friends, identity, motherhood, music, parenting

choosing this life


These flowers were a part of our trip to Denver. NOT an indication of the state of my mind. They are lovely, right?

It has been a really long time since I’ve written. I’m sorry about that. Lots of excuses – obviously the two little ones, plus two weeks of travel (I took that photo of flowers when we were in Denver. They are lovely, right?), plus a lot of intense work preparing for an audition, plus other things, blah blah – but now here I am, ready to write again.

Well, sort of. My brain is filled with orchestral excerpts and my laundry has been scattered on the floor by the toddler (this is what I get for not putting it away immediately), and my current clothes have spit-up (newborn) and yogurt (toddler) and marker (toddler) all over them. And also, they are the same clothes that I wore yesterday since I currently only have one pair of jeans that fit. It’s hard to find the mental space and clarity to write anything that’s not a panicked text to my husband: Please pray for us. Both children have been crying for the last hour. I can’t get J to eat any dinner and HG won’t go to sleep. I am losing my mind.

But something interesting happened a few weeks ago. Out of the blue, someone reached out to me about an amazing job opportunity. It was an intense week. She needed to fill the position ASAP, so I thought and prayed and thought and prayed. I updated my resume, sent it in, had phone conversations and an in-person interview (the first question: “What can we do to make this work for you?”) and then made a decision all within nine days. And I don’t do things quickly.

Continue reading


September 17, 2014 · 3:35 pm

living as a prisoner

Last time, I wrote about motherhood as a “career,” as an identity. But there’s an important second chapter to that discussion.

I am a Christian.

How does my faith come into this? What does identifying as a Christian mean for my struggle to feel worthy, to find value in what I do and who I am? How should my beliefs affect my identity?

I remember when, as a teenager, I first really started learning about the Christian faith – as something other than going to church with my mom and sister on Christmas and Easter. There was a lot of talk in my friends’ Presbyterian youth group about “their identity in Christ” and “finding their worth in Christ.”

These were mysterious ideas to me. My identity was in being a high school senior, a varsity cross-country runner, a violist. My worth resided in my hard and consistent work at everything I tackled, my good grades, and how I was hopefully headed towards an Ivy League school for college.  Continue reading


Filed under god & faith, identity, motherhood, parenting

motherhood = career?

Is motherhood a career? An identity? An escape? A calling?

Your identity is in this constant state of chaos and change and influenced sometimes positively and sometimes negatively. What this leads to is a very inconsistent emotional and spiritual life. These are the things that may explain you, but they do not define you.

Mark Driscoll[1]

I have long struggled with the idea of motherhood as a “career,” and spent many difficult hours in prayer and conversation about my own journey towards motherhood. My eventual decision to leave my full-time job at Carnegie Hall in pursuit of a combination of freelance opportunities in performing, writing, and consulting that would also allow (“allow”) me to serve as the primary caretaker of my first child and our home was . . . far from easy.  Continue reading


Filed under identity, motherhood, parenting