IDENTITY. Remember when you were a kid and you spent hours dreaming of what you would do when you were older? Remember when you obsessed everyday about when the older kids would come home from school and you even made up a song about it and sang it to your mother every single day…oh, wait, that was me, I did that. Anyway, is it just me or do we place such a high regard to our occupation that we often forget our true identity? Or is our identity so tightly meshed with our occupation that we ourselves are confused about who we truely are? I found that happening to myself and I certainly did not envision that when I was a child singing my “older kids” song. We accept an infinite number of titles and roles in our lifetime. Does placing more emphasis on one of them at any given time mean that we care less about the others? I think not. As a newleywed without children and currently unemployed, my “job” has dramatically changed. However, I manage to fill my day with things I find incredibly rewarding and am quite busy all the time. My ranger job “went away” my teaching job “went away” my ______ job “went away. All of these occupations have helped me become a person that I am proud of when I look in the mirror. If I identified too deeply with any one of them I know I would not be where I am today. Caring about a variety of things that interest you will make you better at your occupation and may even open some doors that you never dreamed existed. When I look back on days when I had a “real job” I emberassingly remember how stressed out I was at the smallest sign that things were not going to go my way. I would become angry when others would not pull their own weight but that only motivated me to be better at what I did. However, all of this being said- I always had time to go mountain biking, lift weights, play ice hockey, go to breakfast, sit and stare at the ocean or mountains or rivers or miles of sand dunes or geysers or whatever. Bottom line is this- take the time to place emphasis on a few other things besides your job. Doing this does not mean you don’t care about you job. It means you care enough about your job to take care of yourself, grow as a human, enjoy your landscape, dream of your next vacation, bike with your kid. Just sayin’.

4 comments on “Identity

This makes me think of all of our downtime on the farm – right now, basically October through March. I often feel guilty not working so hard in the winter as hard as I do in the summer. However, I have definitely come to a sort of peace that has me finally appreciating the downtime, the many hours just reading, playing with the dogs, running, and pining for summer. I figure I’m recharging so that I can be a better me when the rubber meets the road in summer. Thanks, Annie.

YES!! I’m happy to hear you shifted from guilt to peace! The guilt can be overwhelming- can’t it?! Once we reach an understanding that the guilt comes from within- it’s easier to let it go. I’m so happy you are doing well Mara!


Anne. I agree completely ! When people ask do you know joe.
I want people to say yeah I know that guy he is a great husband or dad and he likes to blank or whatever. Not yeah he is a good ranger he really works hard. Your job is important but I try not to let it define me.

My identity certainly has shifted over the years as well. Had I not opened my eyes to new things I would never have ended up as an interpretive ranger, environmental educator, tutor, etc. But now I am a mom, a wife, and many other things. I use everything I ever learned in any other job I had to fulfill these most important jobs. I often get asked if I miss working and respond with a resounding NO! I love my job as a mom and wife and would not trade it for the world!

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