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What Do You Do?

i blog

It’s a funny question really if you stop and think about it.

What do I do? Well… lots of things.

When people ask me what I do, I pause for a moment, and then I simply say, “I blog.” I then go on to tell them that it’s more complicated than just typing out my thoughts and clicking “Publish”. I always feel cheesy telling people I’m a blogger because it kind of has a bad connotation these days. Like bloggers aren’t really contributing to society, and bloggers aren’t truly living their lives.

On the Today Show the other day, Kathy Lee Gifford questioned whether bloggers were living their lives, or just talking about it. She said, instead of just talking about it, why don’t you go out and do it (is basically what she said). And it got me thinking… You’re talking, Kathy… Bloggers write… Are you not living your life, Kathy? Well, since you’re on TV, then that must be real living. Bloggers don’t live. They just sit on their computers like a hermit all day long (and by the way, who says that’s not a way to live? Some people do live their lives that way).

Now, I don’t have any problem with people who do talk shows. I think it’s great, and I myself like watching talk shows and entertainment shows. And many people like reading blogs. I like writing blogs and I like helping other people create more successful blogs. Because there is an art and a science to it. Yep. Both. So I’d say that makes me very well-rounded, and yes Kathy, yes I am living my life. That’s how I have something to talk about.

Because if we weren’t living our lives, we’d have nothing to say. Experiencing life is how we get things to talk about. And then we want to share it with the world, because to us, whatever we experienced was important to us. And when something is important to you, you want to share it with the world. It’s natural actually.

But so many people these days call themselves a blogger, and there is a weird stigma that comes with that. But I say as a blogger, embrace who you are. You are a person with many interests and you write a blog. Not only that, but if your blog takes the place of a job, then you are doing much more than blogging. You are a marketer, as well. And maybe a web/blog designer. And a social media enthusiast. And a customer service officer. And a product creator. And a personal assistant (even if just to yourself). You see, blogging is complicated, and it would take me forever to explain all the things I do as a blogger. And people who don’t blog for a living will never understand what it means to be a blogger. I’m not talking about people who have a blog, and write for a blog, but people who are a Blogger, as in profession.

Today my mother-on-law called me to tell me that I could get a job taking care of an elderly woman who needs rides to the grocery store and to doctor’s appointments a few times a week. Apparently she thinks I need a J-O-B in the true sense of the word. Many people will never understand what it means to work for yourself. They’ll never get it. And that’s okay.

The other thing that’s funny about how important this question is to people is that I personally think we don’t necessarily have to be defined by our jobs, by our careers. I have always thought of myself more in terms of what I like to do, rather than what I “have” to do. It’s what I like to do that truly makes me who I am. If you have to force yourself to do something, then it doesn’t come naturally for you (as in, you have to make yourself do it). You can be good at it, sure. But what I mean by coming naturally is not being good at, but having the emotional ease about doing something.

I’m super good at taking care of people. That’s what I’ve done all my life. It’s what I do now (helping people with their blogging, with their life). And I am continually saying yes to anything that calls on my attention. And I almost said yes to helping this elderly woman who lives in the next town over. But then I realized that’s not what I should be doing.

  • I have my own grandmother who I barely have time for as it is.
  • I can’t have another job where my employer and I grow emotionally attached and involved (because that’s what ends up happening to me).
  • I can’t have another employer that depends on me above anyone else.
  • I can’t have another job where I have a schedule and accomplish their life goals (instead of my own).
  • I hate helping people for money. I end up feeling guilty for being paid to do something nice.

 

Now, doing this for free when I volunteer to help out an elderly woman, that’s a whole other story. But I am not in a place in my life where I can dedicate a few days a week to this. And this lady needs someone who can be there for her. Not a volunteer who will show up once a month to help out. She needs someone who can be there for her 3 days a week or so. And I am not that person. And if I did take on this job, and then the time came when I decided that this was not the job for me (which has typically happened within a few months from any job I’ve held), then I would feel bad for wanting to quit, so I wouldn’t. Then I’d be stuck in a job and keep it grudgingly, all the while keeping a smile on my face and doing my job just as good as ever.

Many people won’t understand this, and that’s okay. No one in this world will leave it being fully understood by everyone. So that’s not my concern. My concern is doing what I’m meant to do. And if it means I turn down taking an elderly woman to the grocery store, then that’s how it goes. Because there is someone out there who is actually meant for that job, and doesn’t just say yes because they say yes to everyone.

I’ve only recently learned how to say no. And it’s gotten me out of a lot of trouble. This process has helped me grow, and now I try to think before I give an answer to someone. How much will this really be helping the other person, and how much will it really be helping me and my own family in the long term? Am I really right for this task or job? Those questions have helped me realize what I should and shouldn’t do not only when a job offer comes my way, but also when a favor is asked of me. Because quite frankly, it’s really impossible to please everyone. And the number one person I should be pleasing is my husband. If I am doing that, then I am doing my job. Other than that, everything else is up to me and I’ve decided to live life my way, instead of how society thinks I should live my life.

Because whether you believe it to be true or not, some people are actually not meant to work for someone else. Some people are leaders, inventors, innovators, and thought leaders. Some people are creative and have tons of ideas to improve the world around them, and help people in their immediate life, or on the other side of the world. Some people are self-motivated and self-disciplined enough to create an income stream out of thin air. So that is what I choose to do.

I blog.

But really I do lots of things.

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