What Do You Do

Does your occupation define you or do you define your occupation?Our Western society is tied to asking people, “What do you do?” Knowing another’s profession gives us a place to pigeon-hole the person, to attach to him or her all we’ve ever known, suspected or feared about people in that same occupation. It’s a social short-cut, a way of pulling together the CliffsNotes to establish a baseline for understanding. Getting a handle on the other person calms us, soothing our anxieties and opening a window into how much we have in common–how simpatico we are.

But I’m not asking about your occupation, your trade or cap and gown. I’m asking what you spend your time engaged in, what you live your life for–regardless of what you claim your occupation or life to be about. What is it you spend your time on? Are you an investment banker who spends more time watching football than stock tickers? Are you an outside salesperson who spends more time on your novel than on your beat? Are you a writer who pours herself into housework rather than into the blank pages before her?

Are you selling widgets but would rather be working in a nursery–or a zoo? Should you be writing music or poetry or fiction? What goes on in your head when you are alone with yourself?

Let’s tease that person out…the one who has a vivid fantasy life of doing or being or saying or living certain things or certain ways.

What is holding you back? Perhaps a desire for what you do not have anyway, even though you let it hold you back?

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