Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue


Don’t Ask Me What I Do, Instead Ask Me Who I Am

posted by Beyond Blue

I recently posted this piece on PsychCentral about the need to separate what we do for a living from who we are as people. To read the article, click here.

I carry a few different business cards in my purse. Because I never know what conversation I will have with a stranger at any given time.

A month ago I fetched cream for my coffee at a café in South Bend, Indiana. Naturally my family didn’t know a soul in the joint. However, by the time I returned to my table, I knew some incredibly intimate (not to mention interesting) details about the daughter of the man next to me who was reaching for a napkin: his daughter is bipolar; she was anorexic as a teenage ballerina; and she’s on some of the same meds as I am.

I ended up giving him a business card with everything but my email scratched out.

I didn’t want to have the conversation of what I do for living.

It doesn’t have anything to do with who I am.

And that’s why I get so annoyed that we have to start all of our conversations with that question.

Click here to continue reading.

Artwork by Anya Getter.



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William Van Howe

posted March 5, 2013 at 7:47 am


Great article. I too have struggled with this being thought of as the main part of my identity. Although I liked some (not many) of the jobs I had I never felt they defined me. At 62 years of age I am finally at a spot where this doesn’t bother me, much, anymore.

I also have thought recently,”when did the importance of jobs and money supplant the importance of the human soul?” Then I quickly thought of Jesus turning over the tables of money in the temple.



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Larry Parker

posted March 5, 2013 at 9:29 am


Therese:

I much appreciate the sentiment of the piece, but don’t forget (at least in American culture) there’s a gender aspect to this as well.

When I’ve been sick and unable to work in the past, it’s driven my depression down further. Conversely, since I have had an extended period of good health the last few years and been able to rebuild a (sort of) career, that fact alone has been a boost to my self-esteem. (Occasionally going to the hypomanic side, but in general a healthy boost.)

Not noble, but reality. And I’m sure for a lot of other (American, at least) guys as well.



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