Profession or Identity? #Write28Days

Today I finally remembered to check out the #Write28Days Facebook group and jump back onto the challenge bandwagon. The prompt for today is “Profession”.

I immediately thought of all the career paths I had envisioned for myself as a teen. When I was sixteen, I was planning on becoming an English major in college, choosing to specialize in American studies and was sure I’d leave for the United States in my third year. I actually half-joked that I’d obviously find employment there and never come back to the Netherlands.

Now of course I never even made it to being an English major. I never made it to my third year in college either and haven’t been to the United States as of yet. I’ve never been employed, in fact.

For some time, I listed my old blog as my place of employment on Facebook. Now because I’m not keen on my family reading my blog, I no longer list it on my personal profile. I don’t have work listed on my FB profile at all.

Today, I was discussing my personal strengths profile, which the mental health agency is supposed to have on file for each client, with my community psychiatric nurse. It scared the crap out of me. In the plan, you’re supposed to write about your former abilities (before becoming mentally ill or whatever), your wishes and ambitions and your current abilities. I immediately thought big, thinking that since I used to go to university before my autistic burnout and lived with my husband before coming to the care facility, I should probably want to go back to these. My nurse said I can think small too. I later thought of the fact that I used to be stable on a much lower dose of daily medications and would really like to go back to a lower dose of my antipsychotic at least. That’s a valid ambition too. I don’t really need to find a profession.

In fact, I am also reminded of last week’s Hour of Power show, in which the preacher talks about one’s title vs. one’s testimony. In the Dutch show, Carola Schouten talked about her title as the minister of agriculture and vice-prime minister. She contrasts this with her identity in Christ. I love this and felt an interesting connection to her, even though with respect to profession, she is infinitely more successful than I am. With respect to identity though, we’re both children of God.

12 thoughts on “Profession or Identity? #Write28Days

  1. Yes, you are exactly right, Astrid. Our profession doesn’t define our identity. I love the options to think big and to think small. Both are valid pathways to experiment with.

    I heard a pastor say something similar today on a show I was watching on PBS about Black church. He said that some people may have a position (like a title), but we have power (our identity in Christ).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love this! For too long, I used “profession” to determine who I was as a person, and my value to society. With my disability, I never ranked myself very high. However, I love your perspective on “Identity.” This is really we are. I identify myself as a child of faith and hope. 🙂 Wonderful and thought provoking post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much. I can relate to not ranking myself high on society’s ladder due to my multiple disabilities. I am so glad you identify as a person of faith too.

      Like

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