Thursday, July 26, 2012

So, what do you do?

It's a funny thing, how tied up your identity can become with your job, your profession, the thing you do to get a pay check. Such a solid question, usually one of the first things you ask someone when first meeting them. You start by exchanging names, then ask, "Where you from?" followed usually by "What do you do?". Now, this question has always annoyed me. What do I do? I do a lot of things. What do I do to make money? Depends on the month. Once you've done something for long enough, that thing you do starts to be part of who you are. Your job is what takes up most of your time, most of your peers and friends come out of your work situation so even when you're not at work, you still end up talking about it or spending time with people associated with it. But then one day, you might quit your job, or get fired. Quitting, for a lot of people, signifies a life crisis of sorts. You wake up one day and you can't take it anymore, you've got to get out! Now, I've had a lot of jobs, last count was over 30, therefore, I have quit a lot of jobs. And for me it's not usually a crisis, I just get bored. I get bored so easily with mundane life. Its just that because I've had so many jobs, I know exactly what I don't want to do, and I have an idea of what I do want to do, but the path to get there is not clearly defined.

I've worked with kids, at day cares, as a swim coach, at the middle school most recently. I was a life guard, a fundraiser (for both UC Santa Barbara and Peace Action West). I've done literally everything in a restaurant, from dishwasher, to server, to bartender, to manager. I've made lattes all day, poured beer all night, cleaned kennels at the SPCA, painted houses, sold theater tickets, counted car parts for inventory. I mean, I've had a lot damn jobs. And I know, I'm a little stuck on the employment issue here, but it's just that I don't really enjoy working. And this is a problem, because life costs so much money. And it's not like my life is bad, or that I'm sitting around starving to death because I'm so broke. I've still been eating amazing meals and having fun with friends and doing things I want to do but I'm not saving anything. And saving is exactly what I need to be doing if I'm ever going to accomplish my goal of owning a hostel in Central America. But right now, I am barely scrapping by, but I manage to make it look good, I think anyways.

I guess I just can't get over thinking that there's so much more to people than just their form of employment. But so often we assign to others, and ourselves, such a limited scope of personality based on whatever task we chose to pay the bills. And it's frustrating. I would love to see what we all would become and in what ways we would excel if we could spend the majority of our time doing what we love, rather than what we need to do to make ends meet.

That being said, I'm off to revamp my resume and stop by a restaurant to beg for employment. Let's see if soon I'll have a new answer to the question "What do you do?"

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