Good morning, everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday break. I spent ten days splitting my time between Hammond, Louisiana visiting family and New Orleans living it up with some of my very best friends. I also hope that if any of you are in the wake of this “bomb cyclone” that you’re staying warm and safe!
Onto today’s post.
Raise your hand if you have ever felt personally victimized by someone shaming you for your chosen career?
When I was home this past Christmas, I was visiting some of my extended family on Christmas Day, and one of my aunts asked, “So what exactly are you doing up in DC?”
What I wanted to respond with was, “Living,” but I knew she meant as a career.
I responded, “I write for a nonprofit,” which sparked numerous questions, as usual, along the lines of “what does that mean? What exactly do you do?”
After talking for about 5 minutes describing to both her and a stranger I had never met who joined the conversation on what exactly makes me money, instead of saying, “Wow, that sounds really cool,” she ended with, “She used to be in plays… but then she grew up.”
She used to be in plays… but then she grew up.
So I have a huge problem with this statement for obvious reasons, but instead of ranting about them for 800 words, I’m going to shift the conversation into talking about how the act of shaming someone for their passions and how they make their money is bullshit and it needs to stop.
Has this ever happened to you?
I honestly cannot even FATHOM a world where it is okay to look someone in the face and make them feel stupid for loving what they love or make them feel inferior for having a career that isn’t your “standard” job, whatever “standard” means these days.
When I lived in New Orleans, I didn’t think twice about my worth being less than someone else’s for working in a coffee shop during the day and performing in plays at night. I was 23 at the time, and I certainly didn’t feel like a child for living my life in such a way.
Now that I’m in DC, I noticed my first year here was spent putting my worth into my job title, and it was causing me stress, anxiety and a whole lot of sadness. I attribute it to being in a city where people work constantly and status is about as important as clean drinking water to some. It’s hard to wrap my mind around it honestly.
People in New Orleans didn’t ask you upon meeting you, “What do you do?”
People in DC, I’ve come to find, do. New friends I meet, some of Felix’s colleagues and their partners, random people in hair salons, etc.
But even so, after living here for 1.5 years, I know better than to feel inferior to someone else for my interests and how I make money.
And, frankly, it’s no one’s damn business.
Since when is being a creative person a bad thing? And why are we constantly stifling our creativity? Why do I sometimes feel like saying I’m a blogger isn’t enough, so I have to also add, “…and I write for a nonprofit” as if I OWE someone an explanation on how I live my life?
I’ve written about this before. I’ve spoken a ton about changing and cultivating careers, and I do so because it needs to be talked about.
We are more than our job titles.
I am more than a Content Specialist or Blogger or Actor or Wannabe Great British Baking Show Baker.
You are more than an Influencer or Teacher or Lawyer or Doctor or Barista or Shower Singer or whatever.
Can some of our identity be tied to our chosen careers and interests? Yes! Of course! But it is not all that we are and when we feel shamed for what we love or how we currently make our money and pay our bills, it can cause us to question EVERYTHING about ourselves.
I’ve had enough.
I will no longer let anyone make me feel unintelligent or childish or unfocused or confused when I tell them what I do and what I love to do.
I am a writer, a blogger, an actor, a car-singer, a content specialist and more, but that’s not all that I am.
This world is messed up enough, and we go through enough shit in our lifetime. Feeling bad about who you are should not be one of those things that contributes to your sadness.
You are a badass.
You know what you love.
Don’t let anyone take that away from you.
And to anyone who thinks that being an actor means you’re a child, tell that to Meryl Streep and Viola Davis and Dame Judi Dench, who are 3 of the most extraordinary grown-ass WOMEN and actors that I know of, and let me know what they say.
Keep on keepin’ on.
And always pursue what you love.
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Question of the Day!
Have you ever experienced something like this? How do you combat feelings of inferiority when it comes to your job title or passions?