I've had a perpetual, internal debate playing out in my mind. Suffice it to say, I've yet to announce a victor so I'm bringing it to the public. Let me just cut to the chase. Does your job define you? Or more specifically, should it? If it doesn't, what does?
My job does not define me. My career may, but what I do from 9am to 5pm every day most surely does not. Therefore, I'm constantly left with the nagging question: Should it? Part of me thinks it should. I should love what I do. When I'm awake from 7am, okay - who am I kidding, 8am until 11pm, I'm working for eight of those hours and at home for six. Shouldn't the majority of my day be spent doing something I'm proud to say I do? Or, is there something to be said for not caring what brings in my paycheck because it does just that; it pays the bills. It allows me the freedom to leave work at work and be attentive to more important things in my life.
The former is exemplified by none other then my husband. Being a teacher can be rewarding in and of itself, so I'm not surprised to hear good stories when Shawn gets home from work. You should hear some of the great stories though. Those are the stories that make my husband beam and make me automatically jealous. Not jealous of his profession (heavens no, there's a reason I work with computers all day), but jealous of his love for it, how obviously great he is at it and how much reward he gets from it. No, it isn't always good, but it's always something he's proud to talk about and say he does. Shawn's job definitely defines him. Anyone who knows him knows he talks the talk and walks the walk. Yes, sometimes to a point of complete annoyance but there's something to be said for truly loving what you do and being defined by the career you've chosen.
The latter is where I feel I come in. I'm lost somewhere in the Bermuda love triangle when it comes to my job, my career and my home. On one hand, I'd love to be able to quit my day job. On the other, I'm proud to be employed and doing something in the artistic field and like I said before, I can leave work at work and pay some bills with my paycheck. Ultimately though, neither compares to the importance of my home and it's contents. My home envelops everything most important to me in life: family, friends, Norman, my house. So shouldn't that very phrase "everything most important to me in life" be evidence enough of what defines me? Shouldn't what I consider to be home, define me? Maybe, but it doesn't either. It doesn't because it lacks what I love to do as an artist. It's a catch-22.
At the end of the day, I'm proud to be a graphic designer, or better yet, an artist, but I can't say it's what defines me. Nothing is more important to me then home but I can't say that completely defines me either. I don't know what defines me and I think that's what I have the hardest time with. I know it doesn't have to be just one thing but it seems if it were, life would be a heck of a lot simpler. I'm guessing it has something to do with being of the female persuasion and basically wanting to do it all and more emphatically, needing to do it all perfectly.
Although I've digressed to a philosophical arena, my question remains: If you don't love what you do everyday, should you try and get a different job or chose a different career path? Keep in mind that the search itself adds stress, time and commitment you might have otherwise dedicated to your home. Or, do you continue on with your job and daily routine, even though you don't love it, because it allows you the freedoms you want at home and gives you time to concentrate on more important things? Ultimately, how important is a career? Is it just a job or should it be a life's work?