Yes, I do struggle now and again with vulnerability, shame, and all of the other Brené Brown diagnoses, but on the whole, I’m pretty secure in life.
Until last week.
Last Wednesday, I went to an event honoring a favorite author. When I met Author, he was perfectly delightful. Then, through no fault of anyone but myself, my confidence disappeared.
What do you do? Author asked, Oh, wait! Did you get that radio job?
No, the station decided not to hire anyone for the time being.
I felt small.
I asked my friend, Sandy, to come with me to the party. Sandy is all things – mom, teacher, master creator, and our pastor’s wife. I glommed onto her identity like a life-saver.
Let me introduce you to my friend, I re-directed the conversation, she and her husband started the church plant we attend.
Now we had something to talk about.
My self-esteem waned further as the evening progressed. Also at the event were at least 3 different published authors and Big Agent. I met all of them. All of them asked me the same question,
What do you do?
What could I say? My mind drew blank.
Well, I’m a wanna-be writer who has a blog but that just seems silly now doesn’t it?
Well, I’m working on a book. No, no one has shown interest in publishing.
Well, I was going to be a radio talk show host, but that’s not quite working out.
Well, I love to preach, but I’m not really a pastor, so…
It didn’t seem right to list all of the things I used to do.
I used to be a teacher.
I used to be a youth minister.
I used to go to school.
I used to homeschool my kids.
I used to work outside the home and pull an income.
The ironic part of this story is I really like my life right now. I have time to write during the day. The kids are at a more independent age. Not having a job to report to leaves us options for travel.
So why do I feel so insignificant when asked what do you do?
Maybe it’s because I don’t have a pat answer.
Maybe because unpaid writer-chauffeur-house manager-maid-executive assistant-volunteer is too long to print on a business card.
Maybe it’s because I care a little too much about what others think of me.
Dang. I hate when I’m convicted by my own words.
What is the answer friends? What would be a perfect response for someone who does “stuff” without having a label for it all? Better yet, what is a different ice-breaker when meeting someone for the first time?