Wednesday, October 29, 2014

What About "Who Are You?"

I adore picking flowers.

I can't tell you how much I loathe being asked "So what do you do Gina?" Usually I'm like, "Well, do you have an hour?"

I am no typical 40 year old, mainly because I don't work in the mainstream, meaning I don't have a "job". 

Having to quit my job in 2007, when I was 33 years old, was very humiliating to say the least. It is not what I wanted, at all. I loved working. I have always worked, I'm still young, so saying I had worked since I was 14 doesn't say much, but hey, I have some cred. I enjoy people, structure, learning, bringing home the bacon and taking pride in whatever I did. The last job I had was as a Barista, which I adored. I adored my customers. The 4:30am mornings weren't easy, but who does love those? 
Leaving my job was not by choice, it was by necessity. It was March, and I had already had 3 surgeries that year. I knew more were on the way. And some major ones. One included a complete Hysterectomy. Little did I know that that year would also include one more surgery after my Hyst. and another one in Bend, OR, where I had special treatment for my disease. It was a total of 6 surgeries in one year. 35 the years prior, and one in 2010. Inhumane, right? Tell me about it.

Oh, I self-rejected, self-hatred, and self-pitied for about a year or more. Surprisingly, not more than that considering all I had been through, and all that couldn't be but all that was. Nothing I wanted. Nothing I dreamed of. Nothing I hoped for. I was 33 and nowhere I thought I would be in life. Little did I know that my heart was being prepped for "bigger and better" things for my future. Little did I know I was being refined in a way that would ready me for my greatest, highest use. I know this now. But when you are in the fire, it's hard to see through the flames. We have to choose to see through it all. Choose to not be defined by our suffering and utterly awful circumstances that we didn't ask for or want. Choose to have hope. Allow God to use all that was completely broken and totally painful and messy. Choose to see that not only are we not what happens to us, but that we more likely than not, are not what we do.  

I love nature and chase beauty!

It's a rare thing if you are what you do. I think about my husband for instance, he's in sales. My Mom was a secretary. My dad is a maintenance man. They may enjoy their jobs, and be good at what they do, but it doesn't mean it's who they are. Why, then, why do we always ask this when we meet someone? Why not ask, "So who are you? Or What do you like?"

When I see my Dad, I see so much more than a handy-man. I see his precious soul, and heart, and see that he'd give you the shirt off his back. I see that he is a devoted husband and father. I see that he has an amazing sense of humor. I see that he has a gentle spirit that is sensitive and he loves others well.

When I see my mom, I see so much more than a secretary. I see how supportive she is in all us kids do. I see her interact with her grandkids and take pride in them. I see her accepting, non-judgmental spirit that has helped me through the years. I see her thoughtfulness in her speech and her messages. I see her striving to be more whole. She's a tender one too, that woman. 

I am passionate about mentoring teen girls, I love spending time with them!

And my husband? Sales? He is not what he does. For anyone that knows him knows he is far from what he does for his job. Doesn't mean he isn't good at it, doesn't mean he doesn't enjoy it. But my husband is far from what he does for a living. He is charismatic, funny, gentle, compassionate, and he's the biggest encourager I know. He loves God, and others well. He lights up a room. And he loves hugs.
I am a writer, and I love coffee!

I know and understand that I am looked at oddly a lot of the times. I am literally a 40 year old empty-nester who lives with a disability, so I am not able to work a traditional job. So I chose to be used where I was at! Instead of dwelling and wallowing in all that I couldn't do, I created ways to be used and to "work" with what I could!  And now as most of you know, I am writing more, and working on my first manuscript, I have an Etsy shop, I'm a Lay Counselor and I mentor a variety of people. I want my life to be a life for others. Ironically, I am sort of what I do! But just because I am not in mainstream, society accepting professional job, does not mean I have less to offer, or that I am not of value. 

I just have never quite understood the extreme focus on what people do for a living or for a job, instead of WHO they are!

So maybe next time you meet someone for the first time, try asking them, "So what do you like to do?" OR, "So who are you?" Trust me, most of the time people like to talk about that much more!!! And it gives people a chance to see how valued they are, no matter what they do for a day job.

So, what do you like? Who are you?


Autumn said...

I always love when you share posts like this. It is hard when life doesn't fit "the mold," but we learn so much when God gives us a life we didn't choose. Thanks for using yours to help others see their worth :)

magda said...

I really enjoyed what you wrote here. "What do you do?" or "which firm do you work for?" drive me nuts sometimes, because we ARE (we should be) more than that. We are more than job titles or salaries.

Anonymous said...

I agree with this so much! Why does that seem to be what people ask about first? What you do for a living. There is SO much more to a person. I never got a college degree. I chose to be a stay at home mom. With NO regrets. I have worked part time, but I feel like that is such a small part of who I am. You are such a wise woman, and I love reading your blog. I am also less than an hour from the bay area! Let me know if you have any questions about California!

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