Identity Crisis during Coronavirus?



I love being home.

I almost feel guilty saying it. 

We are all urged right now to “Stay safe, stay home” during this Coronavirus pandemic. There are people getting sick. There are people dying. There are kids home from school and adults out of work. Everyone, in some way, is affected by this crisis. 

Many, I believe, are teetering a little bit as this ship rights itself in these uncharted waters. Who are we in this? What is our job? How are we to spend our days while at home and physically distant from other people? 

As a substitute teacher for the past six years, although I now find myself unemployed, I do feel a kind of advantage over those who normally hold regular jobs and now find themselves in a very new situation. The advantage I feel is that I am used to not knowing what job I will hold from one day to the next. One day, I may sub for a math teacher, the next day it might be gym, the next day I may work one-on-one as a paraprofessional for a student with special needs. Part of my job description as a substitute teacher is being able to adapt to different circumstances and execute whatever plans the school has for me. 

Many days, while I am getting settled in the teachers’ room at the beginning of my day, hanging my jacket and putting my lunch bag in the fridge, someone will come in and ask, “Who are you today?” What they are asking, of course, is who am I covering for. It used to bother me a little, but, since I’ve gotten to know many of the people I work with and they’ve gotten to know who I am, I don’t take the question personally. 

When school closed a week ago, I knew immediately I would be out of a job for the foreseeable future. I didn’t, however, suffer an identity crisis. I knew right away the role(s) I would assume: wife, mother, writer. Although these have long been my roles, they have been overshadowed by the income-generating job of substitute teacher. Now I can focus on my family and my writing.

I know who I am. I’m not defined by whatever position I hold or job I perform. I’m more than that. I am a child of God. I am who He says I am. Ultimately, I work for His kingdom. Even when I’m not able to work the job I get paid for, I know I am a capable, kind, compassionate individual who can accomplish whatever the day holds, “through Christ who strengthens me.”

(This post was inspired by newly-discovered Five Minute FridayToday’s prompt was: Adjust.)

About Amy Nicholson

A busy wife and mother pausing to ponder the beauty and complexity of life and share it with words.
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7 Responses to Identity Crisis during Coronavirus?

  1. Carol says:

    Enjoyed your testimony of faith!


  2. I forgot just who I am,
    or what I might yet be;
    sure, my friend, I’m in a jam,
    and have lost identity.
    But it’s really not all bad
    to lose the anchor in the storm,
    and no use in being mad
    for there may yet be born
    another kind of iteration
    of the person that I was
    to face the current situation
    and that, surely, is a plus
    for the me of yesterday
    couldn’t cope, nohow, no way.


  3. Lesley says:

    It is so easy to base our identity on what we do, but for many of us this virus has stopped us doing all those things. It is encouraging to remember that our true identity is secure in God. Visiting from FMF.


  4. Jennifer says:

    So glad to know…there are others, like me, who enjoy being home:) Funny but it does seem like we are supposed to be stressing or more anxious about it. Perhaps, it is the “being told” to stay that I don’t enjoy!?! I enjoyed your post and thoughts. Enjoy these days at home:)


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