What Does It Mean To You?
I am a writer.
I don't know if you understand how hard it is for me to say that. It's something new I am trying out, calling myself a writer. But my question is, why is it so difficult for me to utter those words?
Society today is all about labels. You are what you do. But throw in the rest of life and where does that fall into the equation? It's like a puddle: always rippling, sometimes trembling, getting bigger or smaller, but always changing. A puddle will not stay a puddle forever, it will grow by adding more water to its core, or it will dry out and eventually evaporate into the heavens if left to lie out in the sun, all by it's lonesome. But at it's core, it is still just a puddle.
Writing to me is like that puddle. At my core, I am a writer. I have never thought to 'label' myself as such because I felt silly to say it. And again I ask, why? Because I have never been paid for it? Because it is not my 'job'? Or is it because I would think people would ask me where I have been published and I would not have an answer for them? I wake up everyday and I go to my job where I work in accounting. I do not ever call myself an accountant. A few years ago I worked at a Second Cup, I never called myself a barista. I never called myself these things because these are not things that I wake up in the morning for. I wake up to be able to write. I wake up to be able to add more water to my little puddle, to watch it grow and spread it's drops, making it ever larger, to catch in the wind and mist the world with what is at my core. That mist may one day turn into rain, hell, maybe even a downpour. Because I am a writer.
I am not one for labels. But I believe they are important when you are telling someone what you DO. My response for the past few years to the question 'What do you do?', has always been, "I work in accounting". Lately I have changed that by responding sheepishly with, "I am a writer first, but I work in accounting as like, my job". But my job is to let people know that my passion in life is for writing, and therefore that is what I do. I owe that to myself and to my passion. Only when I start believing this and saying it with confidence will people believe in me, because I am showing them I believe in myself.
Be your passion, and the rest will follow. I guess the one good thing about labels is that they allow you to be whomever and whatever your heart desires in this life.
Just don't fake it, and you will be.