Tuesday, November 2, 2010
When You Are What You Do
We spend so much of our childhoods thinking of what we will be when we grow up. We toss around so many ideas. I know for myself my options ran the gamut between ballerina, taxidermist, actress, translator and dermatologist! In my mind I was a well-rounded young woman ;) When we actually get there though...when we arrive at the precipice that is Senior Year, it gets scary....it gets real. We think that what we choose for college determines with absolute certainty the unfolding of our adult life. It, of course, does not. It sets a tone perhaps, but it's all good.
What can make it messy is when our egos get involved. After college is over and the job hunt begins, we can become much too attached to what comes our way. We can begin to make who we are as an extension of our job. Really though, the opposite is what is needed. The world needs people whose work is an extension of who they are.
So what's the difference? Feeling.
I used to work in research. I thought it was a good job and I definitely worked with people who LOVED what they did and were damn good at it. I was not one of those people. I convinced myself I was though. At the age of 27, I even considered putting off having a 2nd child because I knew my boss wouldn't like it. Insane? Perhaps. Uncommon? Good God no. My feelings surrounding this research job were rooted in fear. I desperately sought approval from bosses and colleagues alike and truly felt like I could not find a better job.
Once I was finally able to put all that validation-seeking, wretched, fear-filled ego stuff aside, my purpose started appearing in little glimpses here and there. I decided that my misery wasn't worth any perceived prestige surrounding the job. There was a strong feeling within me knowing there was something better.
It didn't come right away. I made a few mistakes and that's OK. I had moments of doubt ultimately superseded by moments of unwavering faith! I knew it would come. I knew I had to slowly let go of what I thought I should be doing. As I did that it became clearer and clearer.
I love to write. I am good at it. I am a writer. In that order. The moment I cease to LOVE to write, the latter 2 statements become false. End of story.
In the meantime though, I write. It is an extension of who I am. I am what I do and I love it. I live what I love.