They say you can’t stop the Dogs of War. They’ve slipped lose and The Machine has awoken.
Purpose is so easily defined for some, others struggle for most of their lives and still seek it until the day they get home. The way we sing for identity in the world is astounding to me, this encompasses even myself, to be sure.
I’ve always been just a bit put off when people identify themselves by their job or interests. Those components make up who you are overall, but the real grit in who you are is what you do with those things. The way you use your work to make a difference around you. I ask myself if we have diminished our purpose so much to a handful of titles we hold.
Certified, Electrician, Gumbo Prize Winner, Trumpet Playing Champion, Honorable Mention in the 2016 Annual Bilge Water Science Fair, Server, Wordsmith, Passion Play Predictable Penman of The Year, Two Time Lover and the Best Guy to take to Horror Movies.
The other day a stranger and myself were talking, getting to know one another for the first time and she asked what I did. I immediately responded that I am a server and an author. She asked about my books and I stammered around explaining The Darling Bones as well as I could, hopefully making a sell in the middle of the awkward conversation.
It’s interesting that I still tried to pitch the book to this girl when I had no idea what her interests were, or who she even really was. She was a phantom to me in so many ways and I still tried to convince her to buy my book. (I didn’t do a great job, either, by the way.)
It’s almost a knee jerk reaction for me at this point, someone asks about my books and I devolve into some kind of puppet controlled by a gluttonous phantasm that’s trying to steal someone’s money. Not that I don’t want to talk about my books, but I didn’t start writing to get rich. That was never the plan.
It’s interesting that it’s come to that. Instead of talking about how passionately I wrote The Darling Bones, what it means to me, I just kind of gave her a sales pitch and left it at that. I realized later that we do that with so much of ourselves. I often try to pitch who I am as a person based on what I do. I’m a server and a selfish comedian. I like to keep my jokes to my close circles. I’m an author that writes lots of books I don’t have published yet. I’m a YouTuber who hasn’t uploaded to his channel in a few months. I’m just hanging out. Long haired ruffian that hangs out, plays video games and sleeps more than I should.
This especially comes out at first meetings. I’ll ask someone to tell me about themselves and they usually respond with their job and favorite hobby.
“I’m Dolores, I work at Jo-Ann’s and I like to Knit Lifesize Horse Puppets.”
It seems so silly that we look towards our tasks and duties to identify who we are. Mothers, Kids, Bartenders, Clerics and Lawyers. Thousands upon millions of us exist and we all have to have a job of some kind, and it becomes so engrained in who we are that it becomes our identifier overall. I think that an alternative we could use would be to describe ourselves as if we were passionate about who we were. Are you a person that lives for kindness? Is your heart full of grace? Are you ambitious?
I’m ambitious. I have a lot of stuff that I want to do. It’s mostly just stuff, too. It’s important, but it doesn’t make up who I am. My purpose in life is a result of that ambition, that desire to make the world better, somehow. So I push forward with the books and the jobs I choose. I want people to smile more. I want them to love more. So I make things that reinforce those motives. Life is such a crazy myriad of events and moments that can quickly confuse you. It moves fast and it’s hard to describe.
Don’t travel through life attached to your profession or your hobbies. Absolutely appreciate them and love them, but we were meant for more than just a list of stuff we’ve done, don’t you think?