My former boss and current mentor, the wildly astute Gigi Johnson, recently posed this question on Facebook. She's says that when she meets people now, she asks them about their adventure instead of asking "what do you do?" or "where are you from?" as her opening salvo.
"How do you present your path when you meet people? Are you a name, job title, and city? Are you a noun, verb, or journey?"
I love everything about this. For years I've held disdain for the requisite "what do you do?" interrogation, as if somehow your whole life story, everything that you are, can be boiled down to a job title.
Maybe for some, what you do as a profession really is your whole life. But for most of us, I think it's only one small part of a much larger 3D puzzle that makes up each of our personal worlds.
For me lately, the "what I do?" question has required a complicated response. As far as the basic question goes, what I "do" is nothing because I don't have a full-time job. I make some mind-numbing side money driving for Lyft, but that's not what I "do."
What I do is my adventure. I write this blog. I travel as much as I can afford. I hike as often as my body will allow. I do yoga and meditate for my sanity. I volunteer for TreePeople in forest care and the Sierra Club in political advocacy. I’m looking into becoming a volunteer naturalist, leading nature walks for school children. I’ve even found some paid environmental educator training programs that would let me go live in the the Santa Monica Mountains and Channel Islands National Park for a time.
In the grand scheme, my goal is to spend my time bettering my soul, so that when I do find something to "do" again (you know, a job), it will be the right thing to do -- something that allows me to follow my passion and enriches my mind. So another thing I do is apply to real and meaningful jobs with environmental organizations that should help me to find a real and meaningful life. Or rather, continue the real and meaningful life I'm attempting to lead.
Hopefully what you do is something amazing, but hopefully your adventure means even more than that.
What’s your adventure?