We all know it isn’t true. We all KNOW we are valuable to God and mean something to someone somewhere – right? Then why does the lie roll around in our heads, periodically coming to the forefront of our minds: What good are you?
Is it a woman thing? Is it a me thing? Is it a generational thing? Men are allowed their midlife crisis, am I allowed a midlife identity crisis? I don’t know what my purpose is and I’m searching valiantly for some way to quantify, validate, earn my existence. Preferably a monetary means.
I went to college – because every self-respecting woman does. I mean, after women’s liberation, how could I possibly despise the opportunity to further my education. I could afford it. So I picked a topic that sounded interesting and invested four and half years of my life into earning a manilla-colored piece of paper that declares I met the subjective standards erected by an institution called a university.
Honestly, I don’t even know where that piece of paper is right now. Since that time I have held myriad part-time jobs. I have thoroughly enjoyed each of them for the time and place they held. Only one utilized the four and half year expense, but each of them provided a meager monetary sum that told the world, and especially my ego, that I was worth something.
Now, I’m in a new place. Because right after college, I committed to following a man and his career, I explore some home every couple years. My transient life doesn’t lend itself to longterm anything, much less employment. That’s probably OK, because I seem to have a very short attention span.
So is something wrong with me? Do I lack commitment since I have never held a real job longer than 2 years? Or do I exhibit uncommon commitment because I four times I have uprooted my little life, packed my dreams into his baggage and traveled to a new temporary home?
Now I am wondering if I am lazy, inept, unaware, dependent – essentially a loser, because I don’t even have the ambition to bring home a measly paycheck. I don’t have the energy to brew coffee for gainfully employed businessmen on a 30 minute timer anymore. I simply don’t want to scrape nickels and dimes off of wooden tables after diners spread their crumbs – even if it does earn a decent wage. I can’t abide the thought of folding sloppy shoppers discarded items over and over and over again.
What’s wrong with me? Because even as I discount the above suggestions, I don’t feel worthy in my current occupation. Currently, I volunteer with the Park Authority, serve at my church, attend three writers’ clubs, study the Bible, clean the house, care for the cars, pay the bills, tend the yard, walk the dog, fix the meals…
But, gee, the title “housewife” doesn’t even offer a measly paycheck.