When I meet someone new, one question is bound to come up: "So what do you do?" The answer shapes my perception of that person, but often in inaccurate and unhelpful ways. For example: if someone says that he is a cashier at the dollar store I mentally stick him into my "not a potential friend" category. Ashamed to admit that, but it's true. I have only started to realize that in the past couple of years.
you're not what I thought!
I want to be known for my whole self. I am not "just" a mother or a teacher or a conservative or anything else. I am a person. That's a complicated thing to be.
If you ask me what I do, I could say that I'm a stay at home mom, but that doesn't tell you much;
it doesn't describe how I actually spend my time. It doesn't tell you
that I read big books, plant nasturtiums in the spring, listen to
sermons while I wash the dishes, or make a mean Greek salad. That I
teach kids all over the country how to write. That I have this blog.
Asking such a narrow question does not tell you who I am.
Let's start looking at the person, not the label. It takes longer and it requires more thought, but won't it be worthwhile?
Honestly, I wish that the question of employment wasn't be so central to
an American's identity. By introducing ourselves as "an engineer" or "a librarian" we imply that our job is all we ever do and that without it,
our central selves would disappear. Which is not the case for me. My life is
made up of many, many things, a large percentage of which-- perhaps, in the end, the most significant percentage-- does not involve a job title or
any kind of financial remuneration.
I imagine it's the same for most of