We have been having some family Zoom calls on Sundays lately with my family.
A couple weeks ago I posed a question to everyone that my brother Tal had brought up with me in a previous conversation. (Tal is the brother who lives in Switzerland and had introduced me to the “locus of control” concept I wrote about earlier, I love his thoughts and his questions, and still waiting for a guest post from him some day on the locus of control dealio, that would be so interesting right??).
Anyway, he was curious about when I thought my “agency moment” was: the moment where you become your own autonomous self and find your own voice. I thought that was such an interesting question. When did I detach myself from my nuclear family and really find my own personal voice? That had led to an interesting discussion with Dave, and during our Zoom call I wanted to hear what all my siblings and parents thought about it.
I loved hearing everyone’s thoughts.
I think most of us felt like our “agency moment” happened at different times according to what part of life we were talking about. A gospel-centered “agency moment” may be different from an education or a social “agency moment.” But I tend to think that the general “agency moment” was a little later in life for most of us in my family, (I don’t think it is good or bad to have it early or late, I just think it’s interesting to think about it), and in discussing why it may have been a little later I brought up that maybe it was because we had such a strong family identity, it was harder to break away.
I mean seriously, we had some identity going on I tell you! It was funny that literally a couple days before I had come across this page from my “dream book” I had written when I was in early high school:
Whoa! Now THAT is a strong family identity, right?? (yes, we really had a real, live family flag:)
And I love it so much. We definitely felt like we were part of something bigger than ourselves. We even had six family songs for crying out loud! How grateful I am for that strong family I got to grow up in!
The discussion brought up lots of questions, of course. Can you have too strong a family identity? What kind of identity do we want to create for our own families? Are we glad we each had our “agency moments” when we did? Are our spouses glad? Ha! Would we change those things if we could? Is our job as parents really to create those agency moments?
Somewhere in the conversation someone brought up this thought I thought was cool: At first we are “actors” in the world. We are going with the flow, learning, growing, trying to conform to the world around us. Gradually we grow into being an “agent.” According to the dictionary an “agent” is “a person or thing that takes an active role or produces a specified effect,” still trying to figure things out. And then, eventually we become the “author:” the person who writes his/her own story. I think that is when the “agency moment” happens.
Anyway, I’ve been thinking about those things lately and wanted to share. Would love to hear YOUR thoughts on this. Did you have a strong family identity growing up? Do you think that affected your agency moment? Do you think your parents affected that moment or did it come from inside? Do you think the point at which you have that moment affects your success in life? I’d love to hear!
Also, it’s my mom’s birthday today and I really, really adore her. If I can be even a little teeny fraction of the good-to-the-core and kind and thoughtful and humble person she is, all my life goals will be made.
Happy birthday Mama! Love you forever! xoxo