I have two seemingly conflicting ideas in my mind right now:

  • You are what you do.
  • You are not your job.

You are what you do.

Annie Dillard wrote, “how you spend your days is how you spend your lives.” That thought has guided me since I read that, in an A.P. English class my senior year of high school.

Action defines who you really are, but I have learned that it does not always inform who you think you are.

You are not your job.

When meeting somebody new, It have always hated the question, “What do you do?” The question really means, “What is your job?” The answer leads to value judgments about the other person: wealth, intelligence, privilege, and so on. It is unfair and reductive. I am not my job. Knowing what I do for a living doesn’t say that much about what I do in life.