Last night I sat down to update my profile here on this blog. In my eagerness to start this project and take the leap, I filled out the basics and ‘save for later’ my way through the photo (coming soon, I swear) and the About You and jumped right into my first post. Last night I went to my profile and there it was, the dreaded words:
What do I say? What do I want people to know or think? It is one of those questions that shines the spotlight inward, and that is something I am not entirely comfortable with. It is right up there with ‘Tell me a little about yourself”, “What do you do?” and “Where do you see yourself in five years”. Can we just banish these questions all together? I find them so invasive, so offensive. They always seem to give the person asking an air of authority or superiority. Your answers have to be expertly crafted to make the best impression, hit the right talking points, use the right catchwords-it’s exhausting!
Tell me about yourself….
Well, what would you like to know? I love to laugh and am at my happiest surrounded by my friends and family, but I also hate loud crowded restaurants and such. I think I am easy going and laid back, but I have been told otherwise by those closest to me. I think (ok I am sure) I have ADD. I am sensitive-I’ve been told overly so, but I am not sure. I cry when I am angry, which I hate, but I tend to cry easily regardless. I have been on a diet of some sort for the last 10 years I think. I gain and lose the same 15lbs every other year, and it is my life’s goal to lose it and keep it off forever and ever, amen. (This month, I am juicing.) Back in December I started F#ck It Fridays and I cut at least 7 inches off my beautiful long curly hair and I turned it into a pixie. Next one, I stopped coloring it. A few weeks after that, I bought myself a little old Miata. Then I pierced my nose. It’s all been very liberating; I highly suggest you try it. I also wear 2 hearing aids as a result of an auto accident, and I have what is called ‘drop foot’- permanent nerve damage in my right leg/foot following my last back injury and subsequent surgery. I have 2 tattoos, and yes I would change them if I could. I love music, musicals, plays and concerts. I love reading and writing and learning-I have taken a ton of continuing education classes just because I wanted to learn about x, y, or z.
And what do you do?
Ug, this one. I hate this one. No matter what I say I do, I never feel as though it’s enough. I never feel as though I measure up to anyone else is in the room.
What do I do?
I am a mom and a wife. That means I run a 2400 square foot assisted living facility where I am responsible for house keeping and maintenance, inventory and meal planning, scheduling of all activities for the residents, budgeting and recordkeeping, and laundry. Tutoring and mentoring is often available to the residents and I also drive the shuttle bus as needed for all occupants.
In addition, I have also been in the course of my lifetime, a dental assistant, office manager, Realtor, courier, photographers assistant, marketing assistant, and volunteered for a rescue group and sat on the board of a major fundraising event for 8 years. So why is it when I am asked that question, all I can come up with is “I work part time at a dental lab. You know, with the kids, it’s the best option for us”. As if it is not good enough? I love my job. Like, really love my job. I work for a great man, as kind as can be, I am home in the afternoon for my kids and I get paid a fair amount. I meet new people every day, and I learn something every day. Why do I justify this to anyone? Because it’s not a ‘career’? Because we live in a society where success is measured in salary? Last year I fell for that. I took a job I knew would be hard on me and on my family because I felt like I should. I thought my kids were old enough to handle me being gone so much and it was my time to get back into ‘the grind’.
Oh my God, did I hate it! They hated it. It was awful. After a while I cried every day and I finally quit.
And I am not ashamed to say it took me months to be okay with the fact that I don’t want that for myself, or for my kids or my husband for that matter. I want to be involved, and present, and with them as much as I can. (This was also about the time I was cursing Hilary Clinton for disparaging women who stayed home and baked cookies. Dammit Hilary, some of us LIKE doing that. )
Where do you see yourself in five years?
This for me is the pièce de résistance in any interview or line of questioning and as I get older I find it more of a personal affront each time it is asked. This is the one that is truly, pure BS. Who really answers that truthfully? More importantly, who really knows??
Five years ago I was a Realtor, and I loved it. I was keeping my head above water despite the housing market crash and doing well. Five years ago, I was completely recovered from my first back surgery with no issues or complications. Five years ago my husband still had a great job. If I had been asked then, could I have predicted the last five years?
Would I have eagerly said “Well, I see my husband getting laid off and the market tanking and neither of us working for a bit, and then I plan on rupturing a few more discs in my back and permanently damaging a nerve, so I will go out on disability for a while. Then after that, I will work part time for a bit, and he will take a job he hates, but I will have an accident and lose my hearing, so bear with me during that one. I will be an emotional wreck for a while, but I will get through it.”
And yet five years later, here I am and all that happened, and then some. So I find that question utterly pointless. No one knows. We can’t predict. We can dream and hope but I don’t want to share my dreams -they are personal and sacred and mine. I am here and now, where I can laugh and love and enjoy. Every day I have another idea, another dream, of what I want to do, because I am still growing, and learning and changing. And that is how it’s supposed to be.