Bizarre Blog Alert
Walking along with a colleague this morning, when her 6 month old became bored and aggravated, I handed her my keys to play with as they had caught her eye. Immediately my companion shrieked with laughter, exclaiming ‘you have an even bigger set of keys than me!!!!’ Looking at the small person holding them conceded her point and I was curious… As if it’s not enough to be carting all the items I need for my multiple roles around with me every day, here I have this huge, heavy wodge of (scrap?) metal. What was the purpose of that?
I believe this bunch of keys meets two needs: firstly it provides ‘potentially’. Secondly it holds a symbolic weight regarding my identity(s).
Firstly, having keys it to my mothers house in France, my sister’s home in Exeter, a friend’s flat in London, means that I literally have ‘boltholes’ should I need them. Not that I consider myself to be running from anything in particular, I think it’s more a sense of ‘running towards’, the knowing that I am trusted enough to be welcomed in these places, with these people in my life. These keys are actual refuge as well as symbols of my belonging in the world.
Other keys such as car and cycle keys mean that whilst I often travel on foot, or public transport in what is a fairly gridlocked city, I can just opt for another vehicle.
And then there are the other keys. The ones that resonate on a different level. These are some the past identities that make up the me I am professionally today. The keys to my old studio, the locker key for my personnel role, the Keys to boxes and filing cabinets and offices that were intrinsic to the roles of my past. These are not roles that particularly appeal to me now, but, from each and every one of them I have pulled threads of enjoyment and learning that weave into the person I am becoming.
There are 17 keys on this keying, and (paradoxically?), I have a whole draw of other keys at home. Whilst these are dormant keys now, the bits I choose of all these roles, persona and identities, remain live and inform and nourish the person i am today.
Do I need the keys to remember these? Perhaps sometimes I do, to remind me of the multitude of facets that make up both myself and all the people I get to do coaching work with.
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