On Sunday, during the godforsaken run with Chad and Amber, we ran by the house of our former piano teacher. We caught up, the way people who haven't seen each other in a very long time do. She asked each of us what we do, and one by one, we answered, our heads lowered in shame.
"I drive a truck,"
"I work in retail,"
"I do nothing."
Of course I don't actually do nothing, but I stopped short of saying that stupid phrase, "stay-at-home mom" because I don't like the way it sounds. Sure, that's what I am, but I don't like using it as a profession. That being said, it isn't true I do nothing. I do anything but nothing.
"We didn't become much," Chad says, and we all chuckle self-deprecatingly.
But I don't actually think that.
Sure, our jobs are humble. Definitely.
But we are not what we do. Luckily.
I like to think we are not contained in the bullet points of our job descriptions - that there is more to us than what people can paraphrase in a word or a sentence. What people very well might say is, "have you heard about Holly Pelesky? She moved to Nebraska, got married, had a couple kids and doesn't work now." Please, tell me that doesn't define me.
I thought of what we do, outside our jobs. Chad and I are each raising two children alongside our spouses, while maintaining homes and marriages. We have good relationships with our families, the respect of our spouses. Chad is able to provide for his family and works a second job to make sure they never can't afford something they need. I make my family delicious meals and make sure they don't go hungry. Providing still, yet in another way.
Amber has a spouse whom she loves and who loves her back. Amber has an undeniable skill in event planning, and one day wants to open a business where she is able to do what she loves as a job. Chad has honed some pretty undeniable interpersonal skills and will make an excellent realtor one day. Or a lot of things, really. Me? I have this humble blog and my half-finished novel and a bunch of notebooks. I have dreams of being an author. Although we aren't doing anything all too remarkable now, we all plan to one day do what we love. Or at least that we love more than what we do now.
We're not so pathetic, us Pelesky kids. We are just late bloomers and have always been. But maybe that's not such a terrible thing. We didn't peak at twenty-five or thirty. We will peak in our forties, maybe, once everyone else has lost their spark and drive. We are just getting there - a little late to the game, but none the worse for the wear. What we do doesn't define who we are. What we do is humble and often degrading, but who we are is hopeful aspirers.