And what do you do?Posted: January 22, 2013
A few times a week I am asked here in Paris what I do. Usually the inquirer is an acquaintance and a desire for privacy (ironic since I have a blog) prevents me from explaining my chronic illness. I usually reply that I do nothing but quickly try to direct the conversation towards Bound and my husband’s very-cool business.
Not having a professional identity has been a real adjustment. Not only do I love my job (my vocation, really) but it had become a central part of my identity in Durham. Driving through town I passed many houses I had helped by and sell. Shopping or eating out I often ran into clients. Not only that, but I had received outside recognition that created a real estate identity even outside of Durham.
Prior to real estate, I actually never really had aspirations for a successful or lucrative career. Conversely, I am a major overachiever and once I decided to try real estate I was unable to do it halfway. I actually was unable to even do it 100% and ended up giving it approximately 150%. My all-or-nothing approach is part of the reason why we decided that I needed to take a clean break in order to recover. I simply was unable to give anything less than my all while still working and my health has required that it be my priority for the time being.
Back on subject, not only did I fall in love with my job but I started to value the identity and recognition it gave me. I think, to my surprise, I began to see my own value wrapped up in work and have had a bit of an identity crisis giving that up.
Who am I without a job that I am good at and helps people?
Perhaps that’s why my “vision board” and New Years resolutions were so difficult this year. (That post is to come, I promise). What are my goals when the parameters are wide open? Who do I really want to be? In the meantime, I need to figure out how to answer people when they ask what I do.
I would imagine the truth is not altogether appropriate. “I am trying to figure out how to take care of myself, be a good friend, show my family how much I love them, know God more, and try all the chocolate in Paris.”
Perhaps I will say I work from home. That’s sort-of-true, right?