I’ve always been rather fond of the expression that someone is “wearing more than one hat” or “wearing different hats”. It refers, of course, to the differing roles and functions we all assume in our lives. We may be a mother one moment, an accountant the next, and a friend in the third.
And just like when we actually wear different hats, our perspectives, moods and attitudes change when we shift from one to another. We might feel exasperated as a mother, logical as an accountant, and supportive as a friend. All in regard to the same situation.
The idea is that we are all (somewhat) different people, or put forth (somewhat) different aspects of our personality, depending upon which perspective we adopt in any particular moment.
My character Terri is adopted. And now that we’ve learned we need to be torturing our characters (Ha!), she is actually going to be “adopted on steroids”. Read: She’ll have some serious unresolved emotional issues, at least a whiff of abuse in her childhood, and be projecting her pain on her friends, etc. So her adopted status informs some of her central challenges in the book.
And I got to thinking the other day about how Terri has become one of my “hats”. I am adopted. I advocate for an adoptee rights organization. I am a psychotherapist, a lawyer, a horse-back rider, an animal lover, a wife, an aunt, a niece, a daughter, a sister, a sister-in-law, a daughter-in-law, a cousin, a blogger, an author-to-be, an advocate, a birth relative (to so many types of other birth relatives I won’t bother to enumerate them here), a divorcee, a survivor of abuse and a writer.
Hats, upon hats, upon hats, upon more hats.
I got this image the other day of all my hats piled on top of my head at once. Then they started morphing and collapsing into each other and interweaving and I thought, “Darn, it’s just one big hat now!”
Sometimes I rotate my hat. Tilt it so it is jaunty. Pull it down over my ears so I can hide behind it. Stand it up straight and wear it tall and proud. But I think, perhaps, I no longer wear different hats. I wear one hat.
I like my hat.
Photo credit: Flickr via Mammaoca2008