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There are brighter sides to life

In the past two sessions of Conspire we have been looking at identity. What makes us who we are. Somewhere inside us there is an essential ‘me’ but that is influenced by the roles we ‘play’ and the context in which we live.
We hear a lot about achieving a work/life balance, a laudable concept if a little naive in the suggestion that there are just 2 factors determining how that balance can be achieved. In truth there are any number of ways in which we are controlled in the way we live our lives.
Last week I realised a long held ambition to get my ear pierced and I did this as a result of my thinking about who I am. Specifically I shied away from having this procedure when I was younger because I was worried about the reaction it would provoke in other people – what would people say? This concern hasn’t gone away but, in this instance, I refuse to let it be my master. There are many conversations I haven’t had or situations I have avoided through this fear of causing offence or being ridiculed for a belief I have held or an activity I have partaken in. This has been for good reason some of the time but on most occasions it has been a reluctance to expose a side of me I would rather not have those people in that place see. I am realising that ultimately, if I continue to take this path, I will lose who I am because no one will be able to identify me.
The ear piercing is also symbolic. I have roles and responsibilities in my life that I take very seriously and try to fulfill to the best of my abilities. But, whilst there are particular roles and responsibilities that identify me more than others, there is no single one that does this fully and none that I should use to defend or excuse my actions and behaviours.
Thus the earring will remind me that there are many sides to life and in order to live life to the full I must allow each their own space and time