Recently, we went to a wedding of a friend of Wes'. He saw many friends that he hadn't seen in years. Through their multiple conversations, one question came up often, "what do you do?". It was a question related to occupation to which he would reply, "I'm an engineer".
This question got me thinking. "What do you do?" is a question that is looking to get at "Who are you?". There was a time in my life, when the answer to "What do you do?" defined me as a person. I'm a marketing professional, would neatly define the whole package that I am. But now with age, I realize we as people are not so easily summed up with just our occupation. This became especially clear to me when I decided to quit my job and stay at home with the girls.
The real answer to the question, is not just "I'm a marketing consultant" even though I do love my job and am thankful for the flexibility that it provides. The answer is more than that. It is child of God, wife, church goer, mother, aunt, sister, daughter, niece, neighbor, friend, co-worker, and the list goes on. In addition to those things, I could be described as happy, sad, beautiful, insecure, organized, disorganized, fun, dull, funny, and maybe not-so-funny after all. To Wes, I think he would say, loyal, loving, kind, doesn't take crap, nagging, and annoying.
So the real answer to "who are you?" is Melissa. I am a uniquely made person who was formed through God, family, genetics and life experiences. This Melissa person is made up of so many contradictory things and just when I think I have it all together, something happens that tells me that I don't. During those times, is when I rely on others and God to help me through.
So, the question "what do you do?" goes beyond just what you do as to who you are. It is knowing you are a whole person and not just the sum of parts and to be OK with that.