Thanks to Superman, I realized, No. I was not leaving me behind. I was protecting my true identity.
The realization helped me embrace my Clark Kent/Human Resources disguise, which has freed me from feeling stuck and sorry for myself.
If you're feeling down and stuck because you're not where you feel most alive, I want to share 4 things that have helped me:
1. Recognize the opportunities your disguise affords. (aka, Be Thankful).
Being a professional allows me to grow in ways I would have never otherwise experienced. Had I not shown an interest in negotiation or had the boss that I have now, I would have never gone to Harvard. (For a girl who was a teen mom, this was an incredible blessing for me.) Had it not been for my full-time job, I wouldn't have made the connections that I have, nor would I have grown into the person I am today.
2. Remember the safety your disguise provides.
My "disguise" allows me to pay the bills and live in a nice, comfortable home. It has given me experiences that cannot be taken from me, experiences that will most definitely help me in my future. If Superman were Superman all of the time, I'm sure he'd be tired and exhausted from having to constantly look over his shoulder, wondering when the next threat will come. My job gives me a lot of security.
3. Be sure to take off your disguise from time to time.
Do the things that make you feel most heroic and alive. It was in Superman's blood to be super strong. He used those powers for good. Had he stayed hidden in his disguise, I'm sure he'd feel lost, frustrated, and out of place more often than not. And where would the world be without Superman to save the day? Go out and kick some butt with your true, God-given talent.
4. Surround yourself with people who remind you of your true self.
Just like Superman had a few people in his life who knew his true identity (his adoptive parents and his love, Lois Lane), it's important to have people in your life who remind you of your true self. For me, these people are my husband, sister, and best friends. These people encourage me when I'm feeling lost and down and out of place.
"A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words."
- author unknown