Monday, November 28, 2011

A Hole With A Pigeon In It

A few months back I was at a small networking meeting where I was discussing all my various areas of interest. After finishing one of the group members who had been in HR for sometime said to me, "You know, one day you're gonna have to make a choice on what you want to focus on." I gave them a funny look and they continued to say that though I enjoy these various areas of interest I would one day have to pick one to focus one.

I have to admit that didn't sit well with me. I wasn't quite sure why I HAD to pick just one area of focus. Though out my career one of my greatest fears professionally is getting pigeon-holed and not have the option to explore other areas down the road because of it. I've seen this happen to many people. They get stuck in one area of a given field and years down the road can't move into another because all they know is this one area.

It's that same fear that makes me reluctant to define myself by what I do for work outside of work. It's not whom I am, yet if I don't it's as if I'm no one.

The same goes for defining myself by the types of activities I participate in outside of work. If there was ever a time that this has become apparent to me it's been since I started participating in roller derby. People have really embraced my derby girl identity and are fascinated by it; however, when I tell them I knit their reaction isn't quite the same.

I guess it's natural to latch on to a part of a person's world and use that to identify them by that all together. I don't know, that is not how I view others. The catalyst for all this thought about how I identify myself, etc. started when I, once again, decided that I wanted to add an "About Me" section to this blog. The first thing I did was to go to other blogs and see how others wrote their "About Me" section. However, each and everyone I read started by either identifying themselves by their job, their family or their hobby or special talent.

This didn't sit well with me.

"Maybe one of the reasons I need to focus has to do with the fact that way I'll know how to properly identify myself when asked by another," I thought to myself as I stared at the blank screen, "Nah... that isn't it."

So, instead of writing an "About Me" section I started a list of the thing I am in this crazy world I function in - this is what I've come up with so far:

On the simplest level, I am -

• A daughter • a sister • a friend • a best friend • a niece • an auntie

Taking it up a notch, I am -

• A college educated individual with a Masters degree • a colleague • an employee

Personally, I am -

• An athlete (runner and derby girl) • a writer • a knitter • a philanthropist

And still, I refuse to specifically define myself by any of the titles with the fear that I will pigeon-hole myself into one thing rather than be able to express the many things that make-up me.

I'm not sure where all this is going. If anything this is definitely the best example of my random thoughts.

I guess at the end of the day the reason I greatly refuse to latch on to just one component of my life has to do with the fact that I don't feel any one of these things mean more to me than the other. All the components of my life are important to me; all of them are special to me, and in turn it is these components that ultimately make me special and unique.

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