I am not my work. My work is just something that originates with me and is delivered to you. So you can form your opinions on my work but I will not let your opinions of my work define me. Though it’s tempting. When you find fault in my work I wonder if the flaw is really in me. Though I know that’s not how it works. When you find favor in my work I hope it’s because I’m really that good. Which is a form of validation because “I’m really that good” is code for “If people like my work then perhaps they’ll like me, too.” Though I know this isn’t how it works either.
So I am not my work even when I think I am.
But sometimes I am my work. Because I find identity in its creation. I see myself a certain way because of my work. Whether it’s praised or pummeled. I attach meaning to what I do because of the meaning others attach to it. They reflect back a version of me that’s been filtered through their experiences. It’s all very convoluted and co-mingled and hard to tell. Throw in the pride I feel when complimented on a job well done and it’s a real hootenanny. Yet I still feel connected to my work to the point at which I allow others opinions of it to mean more than sometimes they should. Then I pretend like it doesn’t affect me.
So I am my work even when I think I’m not.