Today I made what feels like a pivotal decision. I’ve been “identity crisis girl” for way too long, and I think I’ve finally found the solution. For years I’ve been tip-toeing my way around it, but in one fell swoop I’ve finally consolidated all of my identities into one: Renaissance Woman.
This may not sound like such a big deal to you, gentle imaginary reader, since I already describe myself as such pretty much everywhere you look all over this blog (as well as on my other blogs, KetubahDiva and The Dating Queen), but since the change is internal, it’s actually quite huge.
And here’s the thing: I’m now claiming it (“Renaissance Woman”) as my official job title.
That’s right, with business cards and all. In fact, it was the business card idea that make me bust through a block and finally, once and for all, just CLAIM that identity! Woot!
A somewhat interesting (at least to me) background story
Several weeks ago, while at the theater with my then-bf/now-ex-bf, I was on the fringe of a conversation that he was having with a stranger he’d chatted up in the lobby during intermission. When said stranger asked him what kind of work he did, he replied “I’m a writer,” pulled out his card, and elaborated on the writing niche he occupied.
Then the stranger turned to me.
Ack! What to say?! I’d only a week or so before officially launched my own writing business, so I was trying on that identity and also wanting to network as a writer, so I said, “I’m actually a writer too. I help businesses communicate more effectively with their marketing materials: brochures, newsletters, ads, case studies, press releases, websites, etc.”
But then, not wanting to miss an opportunity to network around my other offerings, I handed him my “Artist” card, and explained that I also make fine art documents and stationery for weddings and other lifecycle events…
And then (oh, stop me) I pulled out one of my CD samplers, and told him that, btw, I’m also a jazz singer and songwriter…
Oh, the pain.
When we got back to our seats, the then-bf/now-ex-bf expressed what can only be called disgust with my over-enthusiastic card-handing-out. A stranger in the lobby of a theater you hand THREE BUSINESS CARDS for god’s sake? Gauche, indeed. Have some restraint, girl!
I was horribly humiliated. He was right, of course, that handing a stranger a passel of business cards upon first meeting is just … not cool. Yuck.
Resolving the multiple-business-card/multiple-identities crisis
But what is someone like me supposed to do? Just giving someone one card – say, my writer card – leaves a huge chunk of what I do and who I am out of the equation. Of course, if you work at ABC Accounting Firm and you hand someone your card, you don’t expect that they will think all you do with your time is accounting. Quite the contrary; they will assume you make your income from accounting, and probably have some kind of life and identity outside of being an accountant (or whatever job title you hold at ABC).
What gets a little tricky is when your job and your identity are so closely merged. And when you have multiple businesses, each of which is merged with said identity to one degree or another (even if some of them make more income than others).
It’s an interesting situation in which to find oneself.
And today, I have stumbled upon a solution that will finally allow me to hand out one business card, while proudly maintaining my right to own each of my multiple identities, because they are now all wrapped up in one: “Renaissance Woman.”
That’s what my new business card says, with various subtitles and their associated URLs on the back. No more will I have to say “I’m a writer, and artist, and singer/songwriter,” or “I’m an artist.. and musician.. and I write, too..” or any other variation thereof.
I am, from this point forward, hereby claiming my new job title as Renaissance Woman.
Man, it feels good!