Who We Are and Who We Want to Be

I know many people who feel their jobs don't reflect who they are.

For seven years I mowed lawns to pay the bills while I went to school. My customers knew me as their gardner. I wanted them to know that I was a writer too. But the topic never came up.

On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays I would attend the University where I majored in English and minored in Design. The other three days I drove an avacado green Ford Courier with an assortment of power tools rolling around in the back. I had Sundays off.

My senior year in college I won a poetry contest and was published in three magazines. But the sense of accomplishment I felt wasn't that much different than the pleasure I experienced after finishing a manicured yard. The mowed grass, trimmed hedges, and blooming flower beds looked so beautiful, so perfect. I'd soak it in for a minute, then put the truck in first gear and drive off to the next house. 

Not once did I say, "I'm not really a gardner; I'm a writer." Because that wasn't true. I was both.

Most of us are both. We're the person who takes care of our kids, pays the bills, and supports the community through our work. We also make pictures, write novels, and dream of a life as an artist.

When I was 21, I was sweet on a Portuguese girl who worked at an office that I maintained. She liked me as a gardner. She said my work was artistic. I never told her I could write.

Even then, I had figured out that craftsmanship is really the important thing,

regardless of the activity to which it is applied.