ID Box

I believe Americans partially identify themselves by the work they do.  Asking what someone does for a living is usually in the first group of questions you ask someone after being introduced.  It makes sense.  We work hard and are driven to suceed as a culture.

We are the country of Yankee Ingenuity – where if at first you don’t succeed you try again.  And, when THAT doesn’t work, you dig your nails into your goal until you’re finally able to bring it down like a bobcat on a hiker on a suburban trail.*

Graphic?  Why, yes.  Yes it is.

But, while we live in the gracefully shaded land of Instagram and beautifuly photographed blog posts – all while sitting alone in our cubicle at work eating a brown bag lunch – it often becomes apparent that what we want and what we have aren’t exactly in line with each other.

(I realize that both the mediums above can be carefully staged – but Pinterest wouldn’t be the hotbed of activity if we all didn’t want these beautiful creations to be our lives.)

Growing up I had BIG PLANS.

BIG.

I had my eyes on a PhD in physics.  I realize now this was rediculous.  (I am not good at math.  At all.)

Then I moved on to geology.  (This was far more realistic and reasonable.)

Then, I got sent home from college in the midst of a psychotic break.

Oopsie.

(Change. In. Plans.)

Suddenly my career dreams disappeared and I spent all my time an energy focusing on keeping my life together (aka, staying alive and outside the padded white room).

Enter “the Job”.  I needed one – and am thankful for my family for providing the ultimatim that I GET one.

The job I got was administrative in nature and paid the bills.  This was my “hold over” job until “I started my career”, and therefore my life.

The only thing is, I’m still in my hold over job 12+ years later.  And, I have a hard time reconciling that job with the dreams I identified myself with.  Secretary vs. Scientist, kinda different in nature.

I’m lucky that my closest friends are in the science field – so I get to live vicariously through their experiences of reading (and understanding) journal articles, lab notebook grading and answering the same series of questions over and over and over again with each new semester.

I realize now that I don’t want to be a scientist in reality – although I wouldn’t mind playing one on TV.

(What I COULD deal without is the shocked look co-workers give me when I explain the most basic of scientific facts.  Hello people – I’m not a moron.  I have highly educated friends who share their knowledge.  Why is this so suprising?)

My wise-beyond-his-years brother shared something with me via a Facebook post late last night. He told me to focus less on my job and more on my passions.  Then he told me he loved me.

Damn kid made me cry at 4am before I even had my coffee.

Clearly he could see what I’ve stopped looking at: I’m NOT my job.  My job has a fantastic purpose: it allows me to eat, live somewhere I love, pay my bills, support my smartphone addiction, etc.  These are all good things.

But, they are not ME.

It got me to thinking: who am I really?  What would I want to define ME?

I came up with:

Kind.

Giving.

Slightly nutty – but funny.

Crafty (In the artistic sense, not the maniacal genius one.)

I’d been realizing lately that my job does not have to identify me to the world if I don’t want it to.  I’m currently chosing not.  The job is a job.  I don’t have to let the repetitive invoice processing, contract issuing and office politics define me any more.

Those self-imposed bonds can suck it hard.

I’m FREE.

*(If you’re interested: If I’m the bobcat – a Mary Kay pink Cadillac is totally my suburban hiker.)

Advertisements

I Should Be Embarrassed – But I’m Not

In the not-so-recent past I had a day out on the town with my loving sister, E.  The plan was to go shopping at consignment stores in the nearby ritzy suburban oasis with a large outdoor shopping district.

We started the day by following this plan – but things quickly came off the rails.

We DID visit the consigment stores – and some others – and immediately collected armloads of loot to try on in the dressing rooms.

Hilarity ensued.  Things we learned:

1 – NEITHER of us are a Size 0.

(The dress *looked* like it would fit E – who weighs about 15 pounds due to her cardio “addiction”.  Granted, she looked like some sort of cheerleader porn princess in it – and it took us both a lot of work to get it off of her.  We were really lucky we didn’t have to cut the thing off  – considering it was $80.  While pictures were attempted they really weren’t appropriate for public viewing – by anyone – and I was laughing too hard to hold the camara steady.)

2 – Any dress that is both shiny and gold is fun to try on.  Bonus points if it’s made from spandex.

(When the “outfit” is so bad it makes you laugh so hard you nearly lose control of your bladder AND cry and the same time it was most certainly worth the time it took to wiggle into it.)

3 – Small dressing rooms are more fun.

Trying on crazy clothes is just better when two people are crammed into the same tiny, curtained dressing room.  (Yes, curtained AND small.  I’m confident my granny-pantied booty was sticking out for the world to see at one point.  I felt a breeze.)  The added bonus is that you don’t have to open a door for OTHER people to see your shame when the dress that on the hanger looks like something a society lady would wear to a luncheon makes you look like a sausage/ street walker/ tranny.

4 – Neiman Marcus was not made for the likes of The Crazy Suburbanite.

(Prolific profanity was used.  We got the stink eye from more than one sales clerk – either from excessivly fondling the clothes or perhaps from the potty mouths.  I saw an Alexander McQueen clutch that included the likes of a pimp ring as the handle.  I even loudly blurted out “Oh. My. God.  That purse has a PIMP RING AS A HANDLE!!!” right before a girl dressed in an outfit that cost far more than it was worth than a monthly mortgage payment walked by.  I mentioned that she was trying too hard a little loud – since originally I though I had only said that IN MY HEAD – and E thought I said something about her having a pimp…  We also tried on all the shoes in the “discount” sale section acting all the while like we would consider paying $700+ for pair of shoes.  There was much giggling and commenting on how tall we were in said shoes.  Look at me!  I’m so tall!)

5 – The architect and interior designer for Neiman Marcus are crazy awesome.

Who knew that 70’s syle art glass would be back in vogue and ready to rock the entire facade of a building?  Oh, that would be these awesome people.  Sharp angles, bright white, contrasting yellow: Oh. My.

6 – When the kid taking your coffee order gives you a blank stare that does NOT mean he wants to hear about your day.

(Yes, this was us. Apparently we’re old and need hot, delicious coffee at 5pm on an afternoon of “shopping” in 80+ degree heat.  We thought we were being splendidly witty in our banter with the barrista.  Seems that was only in our heads.  The blank stare was because he didn’t care.  NOTED.)

6.  E can justify me buying anything.

Case in point:  The $175 shoes, clearly used and from a consignment store. I’m only trying them on because, “Um, they’re MANOLO’S AND purple AND they feel like butter.”  I’m only trying them on so I can say I have.  This is our conversation:

CS: Wow. These are high.  Cute – and MANOLO’S – but I don’t think I can walk in them.

E:  Sure you can – and they’re ONLY $175.  You should totally buy them.

CS:  The dress I need shoes for only cost $30.

E:  You’re saving SO MUCH MONEY!  How much do new ones cost?

CS:  Nope.  Too high.  And, I’d like to EAT on my vacation.

E:  They’re PURPLE!!!!!!

(I did not buy the shoes.)

7 – Bundt cake is delicious – especially if it’s free because they cut the samples in giant pieces.

(We checked for a shift change to get more – because we have SOME shame – but were thwarted.)

Overall, a fun day with minimal damage to the pocketbook.  I ended up with no clothes from the consigment stores – because apparently I enjoy trying on party dresses – and I have no use in real life for this type of clothing. But, I did buy some shirts and a purse at Ross.  E had a similar type of haul.  Win for us!

Sister time is the best.