What’s in a label?

Nothing like a spot of unemployment to show you that yes, actually, your sense of self-worth is tied up in what you do for a living. Especially when you get three rejection emails in one afternoon.

Nice rejection emails, of course. But rejection all the same.

Makes me miss the days when you just never heard from an employer. At least the snub had an element of the imaginary to it. Sure, I applied for that job three years ago, but they might still contact me.

You know, I never dreamed of being a yuppie. And I never set out to be a careerist. I wanted to be a mom. And so I am. A decent one, I like to think.

But I am not “just” a mom. I’m…lots of things. Sifting through the labels is humbling. Which matter to me? Which don’t? And why?

If I’m really honest with myself, I would like to be thought of as creative — a writer, a jeweler, an artist. These are not lucrative activities for me, but they are meaningful. I’ve been pursuing them as far back as I can remember. Perhaps now is the time to pick them up again in earnest.

It would be nice if people thought of me as a nice person, a swell human being. I try to be. And, ultimately, I don’t think there is a whole lot more important than being kind to one another. You kind of have to talk to other people for them to think that, though, so I will definitely have to work on the interpersonal communication.

I have taken pride in my career, yes. I worked hard to get where I am today. But if the only word on my epitaph was “editor,” I would feel like a failure. So I’d best get to work on adding some more words, I suppose. There’s more to life than making money.

Besides, if I do enough things, perhaps one of them will be successful. These rejection letters are demoralizing.


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