The Lure Of Instant Identity


We don’t watch much TV in our house but sometimes we find a fun series and start at the beginning and watch the whole thing on iTunes. Our recent obsession is Mad Men. Hubby keeps posting “I am Don Draper” on his Facebook page. We can both only dream.

In a recent episode, Freddy Rumsen (a senior copy writer) is forced to take a leave of absence. He appears to take it well and engages on a last testosterone fueled wild night with Don and Roger. At the end of the evening, as he is being deposited safely in to a cab he desparately grabs Don Draper by the arm and with his lower lip quivering says, “If I don’t go in to that office everyday, who am I?”

I have found myself in the Miami airport quite a lot lately. I am morbidly mesmerized by the woman in their superhero gear – dressed in expensive business suits, chatting on their iPhones, their laptops open in front of them, Coach bags sitting at their feet, Prada sunglasses perched on their perfectly coiffed heads. They are always surrounded by other women, exactly the same. Oh I know who they are, I used to be one. Although I love what I do and who am I now (especially now I’m not one of them) I always feel a pang of envy in my chest when one of them gracefully steps her Jimmy Choos over my flip-flopped feet. The question is… Why?

Instant Identity.

These are easily recognized characters: a copywriter for one of the top ad companies on Madison Avenue, a business woman who is so important she needs to travel the world and so successful she can exhibit her superhero gear for all to see. When you are ensconced in the cocoon of an easily recognized character you are safe – people know who you are, people respect you… you know who you are.

Or do you?

The real reason Freddy Rumsen is forced to leave the agency is because he is slowly drinking himself to death. Filling the hole that should contain personal fulfillment and self-awareness with so much scotch he doesn’t even realize when he pees his pants. If that’s who he his I would guess it’s not who he wants to be.

Likewise, although a pang of envy sometimes gives me pause, I know that I couldn’t be one of those woman again.

The safety, respect and admiration that come with instant identity are a siren song. They are incredibly alluring but be tempted by them and you may end up finding out that they don’t really exist. You may find yourself smashed and shipwrecked on the rocks.

Freddy Rumsen has just been given a gift. A chance to figure out who he really is. It’s scary out there without a superhero costume. But trust me, even though I don’t look like I’m flying in my tatty shorts and battered flip-flops… I am.

So if you have already crashed on the rocks please ask yourself…who are you? If I threw away your superhero costume, your job, your instant identity, if I told you that you really could be whoever you wanted to be… who would you be?


(find out more about the Galahad’s Code Of Chivalry)


Avatar of Lisa-Marie Cabrelli

Location-Independent Entrepreneur & Certified Life Coach, Galahad, Wife, Mum, & Adventurer. Co-Founder of Galahads - The Secret Society for Kick-Ass Women. Founder & CEO of Emily Rose Doll Clothes and Wish Doll Company. Founder & CEO of Laptop Life Lisa. Finding the revenue and results inside every entrepreneur.   Mum of a rocking 14 year-old daughter visit her at TheOneAndOnlyEmTV.  Lucky wife of her soul-mate and fellow adventurer, Mark.  Traveling the world while running four businesses and raising a teenager. Journey from the last 6 weeks? Bahamas to Scotland to England to France to Switzerland, currently hanging in Borgo Val di Taro, Italy. @LaptopLifeLisa

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