One summer I ran the tennis courts at my high school. In college I worked as a waitress at a sandwich shop. The summer after I graduated I worked as a receptionist at my father’s company. The year after I graduated I was the first female Assistant to the President of Davidson College. I was an attorney in a large firm then in a small firm. I tutored kids in French and one summer, ran a little French camp.
I’ve been looking at these sentences for a while now. These are the only paying jobs I ever held. In and of themselves, I don’t think they say a thing about me.
That was not intentional.
In and of themselves, they say — at a minimum — that you were able to become an associate in a large law firm, which is not so easy for the majority of law school graduates, and that you’re not monolingual, as are most Americans (unless ethnically Hispanic). (Why do I seem always to be playing the Devil’s Advocate on Catching Days?) There’s also the implication that you chose/were able to choose full-time motherhood over law. I think that’s quite a lot for one paragraph. Last sentence is lovely, though! 🙂
Nina, yes, all those things are true–I did well in law school, loved the French language starting at five years old, and chose to stay home with the kids when I was pregnant with #3–I just could not do it all. Yet when I was writing the post this morning, I saw nothing there. I will come back to these truths, I imagine. Thank you for seeing : )
and I… be most interested to know how to came to choose the picture above 😉
Helena, why do you think I chose that photo : )
a path… most assuredly… as echoed by Mary… 🙂
yet… i sense a hesitation… as if it be a path questioned…
yours on the journey… Helena
I love that, Helena–yours on the journey. I’m happy you’re with me. And did you see all the stuff happening to either side of the path?
I see a neighbourhood
of grey shingled shelters
and white window frames
absent of human kind
but for the one…
who walks the path
on winter’s time.
It says to me that you believe there is more to you than the positions you have held. For too many people, the title and job is their identity. I find that to be quite sad.
I believe that how we make a living matters little. How we treat others and every facet of the world around us should be our identity.
Mary, that’s true. I do believe there’s more to me than those jobs, but I wonder if that’s because I’ve taken a 180 degree turn from where I started out. If I were paid to be a writer, that would matter. Still I know what you mean.
Nina also makes a good point because having been an attorney is a truth about me. I think I was trying to pull some universal truth from those jobs. Thinking more about it, my love of French, my legal career (trusts and estates), and writing all show my love of language.
Some people do manage to get paid for doing something they love–a lot of teachers and writers. And so right, how we treat others really does say a lot about us. Thanks so much for weighing in here and helping me to think more about this.
Every job and life experience builds the character that is uniquely you. As a writer, diversity in life is a necessity. As for your 180, taking a new direction can be a good thing. I have done so many times when I had apparently lost my way. Each change of direction led me to people who have enriched my life and made me the person I am today. I like the person I am. It is the journey that is important and it will lead you down many paths, such as the one pictured.
I’m so happy to know you!
As I you. Must remember to thank dear Katherine for sending me your way.
As must I.
Well, what is shows is that you’ve gained a wide variety of experience through the jobs you’ve held, but it does show things about you:
–you were physically active
–you have a good memory
–you’re good with people
–you’re organized and competent
–and you’re smart 🙂
Well yes and no. I should tell you what happened my first day as a waitress. In fact, if you’ll allow me, more on all of these things later : )
I’d love to hear more! 🙂 And it’s funny–I was an excellent cocktail waitress/bartender. Was able to handle lots of orders at once. I tried food waitressing for 2 weeks. I had trouble when I had my mind on one thing and had three people stop me along my way, asking for “more ketchup” or “I need another fork” or whatever, and I’d struggle!
As others have pointed out, that list says quite a lot about you. But I think (?) I know what you mean, because I could do the same with my own list of jobs. Of course each one says something about me. But you could never guess the things that matter to me most by looking at that list. What makes your heart beat too fast? What bores you senseless? Surely you detest someone beyond reason–why THAT person? What is the surest way to make you cry, what can you never forgive, why do you make THAT joke in THAT moment? Your avocation, your calling–that captures something essential about YOU, and at least provides hints to the answers to those questions. Jobs? Meh.
Exactly. It’s funny, looking back at this post from over six weeks ago, I’m glad I paused here for a moment with these jobs.
my dad was a gastroenterologist for four and a half decades. He was esteemed, and I believe he was proud. But after he retired, when I expressed surprise at no longer seeing New England Journals of Medicine in his house, he said, “I wouldn’t read another one of those if you paid me a million dollars.” Instead he carved beautiful animals out of wood and stone.
Abby, I’ve always thought carving was such a beautiful art. Your story about your father fascinates me not because of what he said about the journal, but because I witnessed a similar situation with my father who was one of the leaders in computer software back when computers took up entire rooms. After he retired, I offered to get him set up with a personal computer, but he had no interest at all. I had thought he loved working with computers as I imagine you thought your father loved medicine. So much to think about here–it would make a wonderful essay…
It’s nice to see you here.