Reintroduce Yourself

introduceI went to a conference in October of 2023, and it was eye-opening. I was alone, in a city I had never been in before, with many well-respected experts in our respective fields. Meeting new people for the first time is overwhelming — especially if you have social anxiety like me. During this conference, I had to introduce myself to so many different people, and by the time I spoke with everyone, I finally had my elevator pitch down (it only took me 50 introductions to get it just right).

So, you meet someone new for the very first time. You’re nervous, and maybe excited. You’re feeling confident, but you have to play it cool, like a cucumber (if people still say that). You introduce yourself, “Hi, I’m Brittany.”

Sounds easy enough, right? What comes after that first sentence? The first thing I would be sure to mention is that I am a wife and a mother. Maybe I would add that I’m the CEO of a local nonprofit. It isn’t bragging. Those are just the facts. Yes, my name is Brittany, but beyond that — who am I?

Before I answer this question, I like to think I don’t fit in just one box. If I think I am hardworking, what happens if I get into a slump? Do I think less of myself? Am I considered a failure? Is that really a label I would give myself? Do I see myself in that light? Of course not.

Having this mindset — this idea that we fit into a single box just doesn’t sit right with me. When we were younger, it was easy to say, “I am a cheerleader”, or “I am so-and-so’s girlfriend”, and you were instantly associated with whatever you associate cheerleading or so-and-so with. For me personally, I think about things about me that go beyond the labels I give myself. Most importantly, I like to think I am more than the labels other people give me, because that is a dangerous game. Like The Most Dangerous Game, kind of dangerous. When you have this idea that other people’s opinion or label of you somehow supersedes your own inner voice or your own view of yourself, you have a major problem, and it is one I am currently working through in therapy.

I try to see myself in a positive light, but as with all things in motherhood, it’s easy to get lost in the noise of it all. I’ve been called a b*tch many times, mostly behind closed doors, and never to my face, but mostly by people who don’t really know me. Do I have these tendencies at times? Perhaps. I think we all do in one way or another. It is also important, to note I don’t identify as a b*tch. Not all labels are bad, but it is important to ask yourself which ones are not serving you. Which ones give you no credit?

I think one of the greatest things we can do as human beings is grow. I don’t mean physically, because yes, we can totally do that, but I mean internal growth. When you experience trauma or a major event, how you identify may change. The role you play in your own life may change and it is how you identify yourself thereafter — and that is the only identity that matters. When you hide the cracks, people cannot get to know you. You go unseen, unheard. You feel unacknowledged, and you might label yourself as unimportant.

So, if we ever meet in person and introduce ourselves to one another, tell me about you. I want to know you as a person, not your job title, not that someone called you a b*tch, not what others think of you, or what your alma mater is, because none of that matters to me (unless you’re a Xichigan fan — then just don’t bother).

My name is Brittany. When I turned 30, something in me clicked, and I wanted to learn more about who I am — how I identify with myself and the world around me. I am a kind person and a recovering people pleaser. I enjoy learning something new every day and cooking is my stress outlet. I really enjoy music and can go from Eminem to Beethoven in .06 seconds. You can find me at least one heavy metal concert a year. I will find any excuse to travel, and I always carry a book because they are the greatest weapons. Ohio State is who I will cheer for on game day, and I will go toe to toe with anyone about my son — anyone in my family, really. Although I am shy, I like to meet new people. So tell me, how will you re-introduce yourself?

Brittany Hutto
Brittany Hutto was born and raised in a small (but fast-growing) town in Florida. She married her high school sweetheart and is the mother to the most kindhearted and adventurous little boy named Mark. She earned her bachelor’s degree at the University of North Florida where she majored in Public Health and Health Education. She served her community during her time working with underserved populations. After a complex pregnancy, she and her husband welcomed Mark to the world at 27 weeks and 4 days. She stepped away from her career to become a stay-at-home mom so that she could take her son to his many specialist appointments, therapies, and surgeries. She works tirelessly to ensure her son is happy, thriving, and meeting every milestone. Brittany enjoys many activities with her family. In her free time, you may find her reading a good book, spending time with her family out on the boat, DIY projects, and giving back to the local NICU. She currently manages her own blog which invites you to come along on her and her son’s journey from complex pregnancy, to the NICU, and every diagnosis and surgery in between. Brittany also manages a program called Mark’s Mission which gives back to local NICUs. She is an advocate for NICU support and research and is a current student pursuing her Master of Public Administration with concentrations in Nonprofit Management and Health Care Administration at the University of North Florida. Her dream is to establish Make Your Mark as a non-profit organization to give back to more local NICUs and serve as a resource for local parents with children who have superpowers.


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