When I was 22 and freshly married, I went through a months-long period of unemployment, which led to a period of somewhat severe depression. I still remember my mother-in-law telling me that it was natural for me to feel down, especially since most men are defined by their profession.
Think about this for a moment.
What is the first question that you hear from someone if you meet them for the first time at a party or gathering?
“What do you do?”
They aren’t asking what you do for fun, or what you do in your free time. They want to know what you do FOR A LIVING.
I have often wanted to come up with some creative replies, which could lead to an evening of very interesting conversation, such as:
“I am a crocodile wrangler.”
“I write fortune cookies. Would you like to hear yours?”
“I am a blacksmith/chimney sweep.”
“I am a carnival freak.”
Instead, I reply with the same thing that I have for the past 12+ years: “I am a REALTOR.” or “I sell houses.” These days, this leads to some follow-up questions, more so than ever before.
The unvarnished truth is that the past couple of years have been more challenging than I could have imagined. Loan products and guidelines have changed dramatically, resulting in the loss of a big chunk of the viable market. The national economy is probably at the worst point in my adult life. New appraisal rules have added yet another hurdle. I am not making as much money as I used to, and I doubt that most of you reading this are, either, although I certainly don’t want to be presumptuous.
With that in mind, I have been evaluating things quite a bit lately. While I am not looking to leave the real estate business, I am no longer defined by my profession alone. Unlike the lean times back in 1993, I have many other facets:
I am a follower of Christ. I am heavily involved in starting a new church as we speak.
I am a devoted husband to my beautiful wife of over 16 years. I am very happy that we found each other.
I am the father of four beautiful, intelligent children. Their talents and personalities astound me sometimes.
I am a good son. Ask my mom – she’ll agree.
I am a writer. Blogging has led to many other writing opportunities, including the possibility of an upcoming book via a New York publisher.
I am a loyal and terrific friend. Just ask anyone who knows me. 🙂
I host an online radio show. Feel free to check it out sometime: http://budurl.com/bestofjckc
I am happy. Contentment is way more important to me than earning the maximum income, frankly.
Forgive me if this post seems a little self-indulgent. I will readily admit that writing this helps me in a Stuart Smalley daily affirmation kind of way (“Doggone it, people like me!”).
Thanks for reading!