This weekend, I played an icebreaker game, where you state your name and occupation for the group. Once upon a time, it was so easy; I could say "web designer" and that would be that. But I'm not one of those any more.
I haven't been one for a few years, actually, so I've felt awkward about this game for a while. A few things ran through my head this time. "Unemployed bum haha", but I start my new job tomorrow, so that would be a lie. My job title makes it look like "I work in marketing", but that's the minority of my week, so that's not true either.
This made me realise how compelling it is to define yourself by what someone pays you to be. What if you could afford to not work - what would you say then?
I could have said artist, but that's such a loose word. I believe everyone is an artist in their own way. I often say maker online, but typing it to people who understand is different to saying it out loud to people who very fairly might not. In retrospect, I should have said "cat minder" - that would have been the most accurate.
But after all that, I still defaulted to "web designer". I am disappointed with myself, because I did not mean it. It's my fast, no-think response, so leaning on it reinforces a habit of complacency. In all my side projects and activities, I don't pay enough attention to relating my self and passions to others, which has caught me out before. I know I must do better there, and this game was a reminder to keep at it.