As I was walking to the store yesterday, fantasizing about my first art show opening, which lives in my imagination, I started thinking about how what one does is so much a part of how others view them. When I was a prosecutor, I wore the mantel of the government and enjoyed the status that comes automatically from the label "Attorney". As an attorney I buried myself in my work and found myself in a near panic every time someone asked me, "So, what do you do for fun?" I felt great sadness that I did not know how to answer that question. The truth was that I had so embraced my role as a prosecutor and lawyer that I had, over time, ceased to be anything but what those labels implied. When I realized that I no longer could sense any part of myself that was not identified with my chosen profession I left the practice of law.
Two years have passed since then and I am a much calmer, more centered, happier and lighter individual for having taken the jump into creating a life I truly want to be living. And, yet, I now find myself terrified by the question, "So, what do you do for work?" In giving up my status, my title, and my unhappiness I now find myself wondering if who I am without those societal validators is enough. Am I enough?
A few weeks ago while I was wallowing quite openly in my despair over my self proclaimed identity crisis my good friend looked at his 2 year old and said, in essence, "What does he do? Is he productive? No, he does nothing. He just laughs and is." He just is. He just is delightful. Later, I asked my husband to identify how I am useful in this world. He replied that I inspire people. And so I ask you, is being inspiring enough?