Last night I was at a fundraiser at a local eatery when a person I had just met asked me what I do. Oh, Lord, the little dance that goes on in my heart whenever I get that question! Will I get the wide-eyed, smiling, resonating nods or the deer in the headlights, oh-that’s-nice blank stare? My husband says, tell them you’re a poet. That will impress them. I told him that wasn’t exactly a goal of mine but I have to say, I struggle with a gamut of feelings around this issue.
The reality is, what I DO doesn’t fit into neatly definable sound bites like “I’m a doctor” or “I’m a teacher.” And the reality also is, that’s going to be true for anybody trying to forge a new path into our unknown future. It’s both unsettling and exciting. It’s unsettling because, in the old paradigm, the oh-that’s-nice reaction can feel demoralizing and even demeaning. It’s exciting because it’s simply good information and an opportunity to engage more deeply. At the very least, it’s a lesson in letting go of what others think as well as the temptation to put oneself in little boxes.
My husband likes to joke that I’m a prophet – and you know what they do to prophets. They’re ostracized, vilified, and sometimes crucified. Oh boy. While those are strong words, at times I feel some measure of all of them, even from my own self-talk. You know. “That’s crazy.” “That’s impossible.” “Who do you think you are?”
And I think that’s one of the keys – knowing who you are and doing that. Not proselytizing, not apologising. I really believe in the BeingChange work even though it’s messy and meandering. It feels right and that’s good enough for me.