Our Jobs Defining Who We Are

Each week during my therapy session, the conversation always goes back to the same topic…school. The ironic thing is that it’s me who brings it up, not my therapist. Ever since I stopped going to school, I began to feel empty. I thought I was a failure for not continuing to be the excellent student I was known to be before. I felt like I was literally nothing. Till now though I have never realized how truly messed up that was. Yes, school is important of course. No one like me understands that better, whose life was centered around school. In fact, my whole life was about studying, maintaining hobbies/ extracurricular activities to get into a good college, and even all my friends were from school. For a student, school is our job as adults have theirs. However, now sitting at home day after day for a year, I’ve realized that without that one thing I was no longer myself. I was no longer anything. It had not only defined me but became the whole point of my existence…my entity. Without it I became someone that basically didn’t have a life.

For me it was natural to put my everything into getting good grades and getting into a good college. Soon, the idea of me leaving at 6 am in the morning and returning at 9 pm, to only disappear in my room to do my homework was of no surprise to my parents.  To us all, it seemed to make sense for a student to have a daily 24 hour devotion to their job as a student. Even the purpose of sleep was meant to get us through the next day.

But I’ve realized how wrong it is. People’s jobs do matter. It’s what allows us to survive in the world however, I don’t want to be defined by my job as a student where without it I feel inferior and lost. I want to be defined by who I am and who I will be. There are countless of things out there that its impossible to even name each every one of them that can be pursued just because someone wants to. There is a reason why people say YOLO (you only live once) as tacky as it may sound. I don’t want to spend my life studying away. Experiences and different things make us who we are. In other words do I want others to describe me as a good student and no other memories to describe me? No, apparently not.

It’s true also for housewives/men whose lives are basically spent cleaning other people’s mess and taking care of other people, which is also a job. In the end people begin to recognize you as someone else’s wife, mother, or daughter but they shouldn’t. They should remember you for you and not because of your role in someone else’s life. Even my mother, after she left her job, she devoted her life to her family, where people now address her as Faye’s mom despite how close she may be to them.

In others words career oriented people and housewifes should sit down and actually think for even five minutes, of what your life contains. One might realize that the busy schedule you could barely handle before in fact was nothing. (Not you but the job was nothing.)

School is definitely on my priority list but I’m going to dare to make a goal that during the next therapy session I have, I won’t talk about school at all. Instead I’ll talk and search of other things to pursue and dedicate my life too without its purpose being another thing to write on my college app.

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