Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Are you important?

What is the definition of a person’s importance?  If you’re loved by one or loved by one million – does that make you important?  I mean – the fact is – we are all replaceable.  Even the people we think are most important – aren’t really.

The Pope, the President, rulers of countries and diplomats and celebrities – are all just who they are for a moment – until the next one comes along and slips right into their little slot that they thought was important.  There’s always someone waiting to take your spot when you’re done – and sometimes even when you’re not.
I struggle with “importance”.  I’m an accountant by nature and I’m good at my job but I’m not stupid enough to think there aren’t a bazillion other accountants out there who can do my job too if I was gone one day.  Quite a few of them would probably even do it better.

I don’t help anyone daily.  I don’t make a difference.  When I balance a general ledger, no one’s life suddenly gets better.  If I were to say I was quitting – no one would sit down in my office and beg me to stay…because I’m not that important.  It’s numbers people.  It ain’t rocket science and even if it were – there are plenty of other rocket scientists out there who could fill my place just the same.
I have a creative mind and a giving spirit but there’s no room for that in Accounting.  So what then?  Move on from a full-time job that I love that pays me well and offers me flexibility and a million other things?  Nah.

It’s the same with the 2 part time jobs.  Accounting.  Good money.  My terms, my way.  But do I make a difference or make anyone’s life better?  Nope.  Not even on a good day.
And even if I had every resource in the world and someone told me to go hand pick my dream job – I don’t know what it would be.  I’ve lived too long and become too cynical for those dreams.  As a kid I could have thought of plenty – writer, farmer, artist, therapist, etc etc.  Now the dream job is the job that pays the bills.  The dream job is the one that I love but could easily let go of.

It’s not important – the “what” that I do…and therefore it’s left me feeling unimportant as a human – career-wise.  I never set out to not be important or non-difference-making.  It just so happened that my skills and talents dealt with numbers and not choosing that path seemed like a silly move out of high school.
I don’t regret the path – I just wish I knew in my heart that I changed some lives or helped more or gave more – daily.

There’s always been a part of me that’s wanted to be more and do more but I can never figure out what that “more” is.  I’ve never had the balls to take the risk to find out.  And 99% of the time – these thoughts aren’t on my radar.  99% of the time I’m at peace and content and know full well that my life is indeed what I’ve made it. 
But 1% of the time something happens and it makes me question where I’m at and what I’ve done and haven’t done.  1% of the time I know that I’m not giving everything I can and I’m just letting life pass me by with the daily grind of jobs.  Good, responsible, stable jobs.  The kind I love but not the kind that make my heart soar.
During this 1% time, I have to take a step back.  Re-evaluate who and what I am and decide if I want to be something different.  I have to decide if I’ll have regrets if I do nothing and just keep going.  I have to decide what is enough for me.  What I’ll accept and what I won’t.

So while this inner turmoil feels kind of icky for lack of a better word – it is good.  Years ago I would have let these feelings just depress me and I would have spent my time just trying to rid myself of them.
Now?  I’m older and I can see the feelings have a purpose.  It’s good to re-evaluate your life and what it is or isn’t.  It’s good to feel a little inner angst because it can be the feeling that drives me to make changes. 

I’m trying to sit with the feelings and decide if they are worthy of action or just a passing thought or self- pity party.  I’m trying to decide if at my core I know my importance or if self-importance really even matters.
I think we all want to feel important though realistically we all know our importance isn’t forever and when we’re gone our space will be eventually get filled.  It’s a catch 22 for me – wanting it and knowing it doesn’t really exist.

I just am who I am – doing what I do – and I want that to be enough.  Though I’m not sure it is.
How do you feel important in a sea of people in your career and home and life?  Does your sense of importance come naturally or do you have to work at it?  Does it even cross your mind?


complex14 said...

I'm important to my husband and children and that is all that is important to me :)

Laura Belle said...

I don't think anyone views their job or career as life changing. I bet even a DR wouldn't say so. They'd just say, well, it's all I'm good at, so that's why I do it. Yes, they help people. Yes, they heal people. But it probably comes down to them being driven toward that profession. Like, they weren't driven to be a clown, but that'd still be helping people, and in some way healing people.

I do think anyone in ANY job makes a difference. yes, there's thousands of others that can do what you do, but they will never do it the SAME as you! And out there, I bet there's SOMEONE that knows and appreciates that!

Plus....what I think is more important than anything, you're a fantastic mom and you make a difference in your daughters lives every day! Be proud of that! Don't worry so much about your career. Like you said, it'll be gone one day. But you're family will always appreciate and be there for you!

Loves you!

Joanna said...

I think every day about how important I am and the differences I'm making. I'm a teacher. There are thousands out there, and plenty to take my place if I ever decide to leave.. but the children I work with day in and day out, the ones that enter and leave my classroom? They are receiving the impact I put on them. I do what I do for them.

Being an accountant is no different. I know of people whose lives have been saved by having an accountant crunch numbers for them and help them keep their house, keep their possessions, saved them from financial disaster. Sure, I suppose someone else could have done it for them, but those others are not the one that receives yearly cards and letters of appreciation for "saving their lives".

Do not value your worth by the amount of people that do or can do what you do, value your worth by WHAT YOU DO. You are valuable. Your time means something. Your input is important. If it wasn't, someone else WOULD be doing your job.

Never doubt your self worth or how someone else could do what you do. What's important is how you're doing it, what you're putting in, the lives you are touching without even realizing it.

There may be thousands of accountants and there may be thousands of teachers out there that could step up to the plate and fill our shoes... but could they? Really? NO!! We are who we are. We do what we do. And we do it OUR way. That's important. :)

Jewlz280 said...

Funny thing is, when I think of my parents, grandparents, other family members, friends, and strangers that have touched my life, it has never crossed my mind to wonder what or why they did for a living. Because to me, your job, what you do to make money to 'live', isn't who you are but what you are good at. It doesn't define you, change you, or any of that but it sure helps the world go round. In the end, it's usually the things you never set out to do that people remember you for. And for me, that's the most important.

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