When people ask me what I do (as in work) and I tell them, their response is always raised eyebrows and something along the lines of wow, that’s pretty cool. Their follow-up question is always: Do you like your job?
I blame the directness of the question for my response. I always say (without hesitation or thought) no.
Which results in more raised eyebrows, scrunched noses, and reallys?
This is the part where I start to backtrack. This is the part where I start apologizing for what I said. This is the part where I try to quantify the things that I like about my job (the people, the travel, the pay). The part where I start to stutter and my words jumble about because the mask has slipped, without warning, and I am bright light-lit and exposed. This is the part where I lose my resolve and the “I means” start to come out.
I mean…I’m really blessed to have a job in this economy. I mean…I like some parts of it. I mean…I don’t hate it exactly
Except for the fact that I do hate it exactly.
I don’t know what it is about the truth that makes us rush to cover it up. How we suddenly, like Adam and Eve, feel the rush of wind against bare skin and realize that we are naked and vulnerable and reach for the nearest fig leaf (or I mean) to hide our shame. I wonder if the rush to make excuses is really a way to minimize the blow to our own egos when we find that things in our life are not quite right. A way of saying sorry/not sorry. A quick way to drop the façade, and poke our heads out of the foxhole to gauge public reaction, before hastily retying the mask around our faces. Perhaps it’s best to unapologize for all of those times where we try to convince ourselves of things that our hearts (and first responses) know otherwise.