Posted by in Features.

Identity Crisis

by thereluctantemigrant

Just when I thought it couldn’t get worse…..

Last year, at this exact time of the year I muttered about having an identity crisis of sorts. It was heavily prompted by three days of celebrations, International Women’s Day, Mother’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day.   All these massively thought-provoking days ultimately leave me feeling totally inadequate and like I should write a vision statement for myself. Which if I take a few minutes to through out a few lines, would read something like, ‘let’s this year lose 5 kg, finish the book and enjoy a few days away somewhere nice’.   That’s usually the vision I have of and for myself in February, but when March comes and all these days, come out of the woodwork, it’s a different story.     Being an International Woman, a Mother and a Paddy, I should identify strongly with all three, and I do, but not in the way that perhaps that the media portray them.

Take International Women’s Day, social media was awash with accomplishment, achievement, acceleration, groups of women all the around the world, driving their position home, and leaving those of us, at home, feeling somewhat inadequate.   This year, first time probably I sent a few texts, the replies were interesting, the young, entitled, just said thanks, my age, the appreciative of the strides in the women’s movement, all said, ‘you too.. may we know, them, raise them etc etc’. My mum replied, ‘there’s a day for everything now’ realism at its finest.

And the worst day to be living in Qatar, St. Patrick’s Day. Not alone can you not convey to anyone just how St. Patrick’s Day works, other nationalities pick it up, completely misinterpret it and fire it back in your face, just like as if they spent years of their childhood standing at the side of the main street, clapping and cheering while a tractor passes with 17 kids hanging off it.   The real Paddy’s days were spent in the pub, doors open, no plastic shamrock glasses or general paddywackery in sight just straight up pints of Guinness and lots of them, but it was never about the drink either, it was about getting 10p’s for the arcade game in the corner and having coke in a bottle with a straw in it and playing in the pub, but it wasn’t about the pub either, because there was the parade, but that alone didn’t define it either, oh forget it, it’s too hard to explain and this year, I’m sorry to say, I didn’t acknowledge it.

Mother’s Day, which was celebrated yesterday here in Qatar, quite clearly needs a facelift. The same oul’ trodden ground, afternoon tea and facial in return for the 18 years of utter hardship is hardly acceptable any more. Be honest the only thing us mothers want on mother day is a day without the kids, there I’ve said it. So come clean all those on Facebook taking pics of themselves dusting flour off the kids noses, saying how precious these days are, you’d rather be in Fota for 2 nights, indulging in spas, walks and your book, the only interruption to your time being a text from the babysitter sending your pics of the kids you’re trying to forget for a night and you’re reply back, ‘you’re a star x’. Besides we’re so revved up from International Women Day, it seems a bit twee to identify so strongly as a mother these days, we’re nearly afraid to admit any sense of achievement from having children, these days it’s all about looking inwards, reflection, finding satisfaction from within, it’s not really pc to confess to gaining pleasure from raising kids, you do you, and all of that.

I thought it was over, the tsunami of thought-provoking days, survived for another years, and then the worst happened. International Happiness Day. For the love and honour of God, how are we meant to get any peace of mind with the calendar literally beating us up every morning with a new initiative facing us down every morning, as we’re struggling to get creative with the lunchboxes.

International Day of Happiness, to spread happiness, share happiness and feel happiness, get off social media is my number one advice, and we’d be a whole lot happier then.