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A big part of our experiences as we grow up and become adults is the process of finding out what we are.  All of us feel like we were meant to do something during our time riding around the sun, but the search for what that something is can be among the most frustrating parts of the human existence.

As a result, we’ve made little cubbies for ourselves.

It was a natural reaction to the problem of sentience and search for self.  We needed some way to define ourselves, and so the easiest way was to make the little holes we fit into based on what it is we do as we interact with the world around us.  Thus, our vocational calling becomes our defining characteristic.  After all, isn’t among the first questions you ask when you meet someone new: What do you do?

We may as well ask: What are you?

This person is a doctor.  That one an actor.  Still another, a sanitation engineer.  What they do defines them and allows us to put them in their proper place in our memory banks.  And, in truth it really has very little to do with value judgment.  That comes later.  We simply recall one another better when we can put a what to a who.

Thus, it follows that when that identity gets stripped from us we begin to feel separated from that world.  And that is a dangerous trap.  It becomes very easy to seek “safe places” where the world can be closed out for a little while.  I’m guilty of that myself.  When you’ve lost that label we all put on ourselves you begin to feel a sense of declining value.  These are the feelings that I, and I am sure many like me fight everyday.

It’s maddening.  I just want to work.  I just want that part of my identity back.

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One Comment

  1. I hear you loud and clear. I too want to work, almost border line desperately. I need that part of myself back too


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