In today’s society there is such a focus on what you do. When you first meet someone invariably one of the first questions asked is what do you do?
Why do we ask that? Because it clues us in to the kind of person we are meeting. Is that person a lawyer? A doctor? A librarian? A musician? A teacher?
In today’s society we look at ourselves through the lens of what we do for income. I have done this all my life. I am a student, an intern, a library assistant. I took it even further. I so identified with my job it became who I am. This is dangerous territory, because then it began to determine how I felt about me. If something slipped through the cracks, then it was not an oops, I was incompetent. If I made a mistake, it was a failure. I didn’t just fail at my job, I had failed me. I couldn’t see that there was more to me than what I identified that was me through my work. I took work very seriously. Sure, I had other hobbies and activities, but work was the ultimate. Work was work.
The thing is, I am more than a student. I am a woman, a daughter, a friend. I care about people and I am a person who loves to learn, read and write.
Am I saying what one does shouldn’t be a part of who they are? No. It just inherently is. What I am saying is for me, from this point on, it can’t be all of who I am. It is not my end all and be all.
These last few months have been exciting, nerve-wracking and stressful. Now I am seeing what that is. I am growing, again. Its like puberty all over again. But instead of new pants and zit cream I need more mental coping skills like just taking things step by step, one day at a time.
I also have to remember that I am not Wonder Woman. Life has some learning curves that are in store for me. Whether I pass or crash, I need to remember when the woman inside “fails” to live up to all the “shoulds” that woman is just one part of me, a small part. I need to remember to treat her kindly and help her to ride out the “should storm” and that no matter what, the anxiety doesn’t have to last forever.