Since I graduated college, I have resisted defining myself by my job title. After being raised to be the author of my own story, the idea of describing my identity with others’ words makes me feel like some manic pixie dream girl. Once I quit my day job to bartend and freelance, I have fewer reservations about shaping titles like these to fit my life.
Not using these titles became an excuse. Denying that I am a writer and a runner gives me the slack I need to put off blog posts and speed drills. Not admitting these parts of my identity gives me the room to fail without fear of consequence. If I’m not a writer, having a pitch ignored or rejected is just part of being an amateur freelancer. If I’m not a runner, spending the afternoon on my couch instead of the sidewalk isn’t neglecting a training routine, it’s personal care.
The truth is that I am both a writer and a runner. My spreadsheet of story ideas and markets won’t pitch itself, and I’ll never be able to run 3.11 miles if I don’t lace up. Pretending that I have no responsibility to these titles won’t cut it anymore. I simply can’t ignore it anymore.
Tonight I work my first solo bartending shift at Octane. Though I haven’t been too hesitant about calling myself a bartender, I qualify the title by adding “baby” or “in training.” Truthfully, I will be learning new parts of the craft during every shift I work. If I keep using a qualified title now, I may never stop, further hindering my ability to hone my skills.
Needless to say, the denial and qualifications stop now. I am a writer, runner and bartender, and should direct my energy to develop these abilities instead of denying them. It’s about damn time.
Today’s title comes from Yoda’s speech to Luke.