I’m faced with a question I don’t know how to answer once again.
“So, What do you do?”
I’ve struggled with this question for years. When I was a stay-at-home Mom it was very hard for me to answer. I wanted to give my life choice justice. Gosh, where do you start? Which hat do you want to know about? When I was a Realtor I could answer the question with ease. Real estate is easier to explain. After real estate, the question became a joke. I went to a lot of networking events, tweet-ups and social events where it was important to answer that question well.
During that phase of my life, my husband and I came up with a list of answers, “Well, I do what ever I want.” (No respect with that one.) ” I am a professional poll dance instructor.” (this one I could not say without laughing) ”I am a professional networker.” (what is that?)
I am faced with the dilemma again. What will I say when I’m asked with the defining question, “What do you do?”
First of all, I am deeply thankful for all my choices in life. I am grateful to live in a country that still has a dream. I can be or do anything I set my mind to.
However, I love the Italian saying, “La dolcezza di non fare niente!” The sweetness of doing nothing. That just isn’t acceptable in our culture that values DOING. Maybe that is why I am so drawn to Italy.
I went to see the premier of Eat, Pray, Love with my friend Kelly Gingery. It had been a long time since I read the book. I was hoping to be more inspired to travel. However, the movie seemed to be focused more on the choices we make and the choices we have or don’t have as women.
The movie reminded me of a conversation Elizabeth Gilbert had with her friends in Italy. They were coming up with words for major cities. New York~achieve. Los Angeles~succeed. Stockholm~conform. Rome~SEX. In their opinion every city has a word. Elizabeth Gilbert was confronted with the question, “What is your word?” (Marriage, Family, Achieve, Depression, Seek, Pleasure, etc.)
Now I am curious. What is my word?
Of course, I’d like to discover my word and not be labeled by others. I think it is sad how we label people without really knowing who they are.
For Mother’s day my sweet daughter bought me a Money Tree. She thought it would help me with a fund I was collecting. On her card she wrote, “PS. you can’t kill it because it is resilient! This money tree isn’t going anywhere.” RESILIENT. That spoke to me. Boy does my daughter know me!
So, I prefer the question, “What is your word?” I love how it sounds in Italian, “quello che è la Sua parola?” To me, it says who are you? What are you all about? What is important to you? I’d like to know you.