22
Jul
13

Who I Am vs What I Do

So there might be some changes coming on the job front again, though I won’t get into that now because it may not happen.

Anyway, as things might shift for me, I find myself struggling with the concept of changing what I do on a day to day basis and having a certain amount of anxiety about it.

As if changing what I do alters who I am. Which, on the one hand, it does because your experiences in life shape who you are as a person. Especially in America where we so closely identify with our jobs. Think about it.

How often do you answer “I am……” when someone asks what you do? Always?

We spend an awful lot of time at our jobs, whatever they are. So much so that they bleed into who we are.

Is that really a big deal? Well, sometimes, yes.

It’s why people fall apart when they get laid off, or waste away when they retire. We get so wrapped up in what we don, it’s all we are.

Or at least that’s how it feels. It certainly seems to be an issue for multiple men I know as well as women as well.

And it’s a real issue if, like me, your job changes on a semi-frequent basis. Seriously, how the hell am I supposed to know who I am if every year I have a different job title? How do I keep my feet under me?

The answer came to me walking some dogs today and it’s surprisingly straightforward.

Don’t let what you do define who you are.

There’s a line in the movie Fight Club:

You’re not your job. You’re not how much money you have in the bank. You’re not the car you drive. You’re not the contents of your wallet. You’re not your fucking khakis.

Now, I cut out the very end because I don’t happen to think I’m the ” the all-singing, all-dancing crap of the world” but otherwise it’s one of a few truths in an otherwise satirical look at male culture.

You’re not defined by the job you do. That goes for you ladies as well.

Notice I didn’t say “you’re not defined by what you do” because you are. We are what we do, in other words the actions we take are part of who we are.

HOWEVER, we are not defined by the job we do.

As a people, the human race love to categorize others as well as ourselves. I don’t know if (especially in America) it’s the general competitiveness left over from climbing over one of other in the primordial muck or if we do it to prove we fit somewhere.

Jobs easily define us.

But they shouldn’t.

I’m far more complex than what I do to earn a living. I’m far more than what I fill my day doing. I’m more than the sum of my paychecks and piles of work.

I’m a dad and a husband and a son and an avid reader and a lover of comics and a surfer and a huge nerd and a sports fan and a writer and a film nut—and on and on.

No one thing defines who I am. No one thing should.

We keep letting it though.

But not me. No more. Whether this new opportunity happens or doesn’t, whether I change my job title once or a hundred times in the coming years it won’t change who I am.

I won’t let it anymore.

Who’s with me?

Hey, are you following Dad Moon Rising on Twitter or Facebook? Why the hell not?

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What I’m Into:

Reading: Dead Beat by Jim Butcher Listening to: The Heist, Macklemore Watching: Damages

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