Lately, I’ve been struggling with a case of identity. It’s hard to know who I am, certainly, but understanding what the hell that question means is even harder.
Working at a grocery store, I have befriended lots of regulars. These relationships are (sort of) important to me, consisting of pleasantries and surface questions (baby pictures, the Rangers), and are way better than being hated.
About half are moms. I like them a lot, they always ask about Eli and offer gentle, Whole Foodsy advice on how to properly blend beets and convince our pediatrician to delay shots. They gave me presents when Eli was born and think I’m exceptional because I remember that they like almond milk. Just so we’re clear, they ALL like almond milk.
The males talk to me about baseball, assume I’m politically conservative, and vaguely invite me to houses of adult entertainment. They aren’t as interested in almond milk. Eventually, though, I know that they will ask me, with varying degrees of subtlety, just what the hell a hard-working, college educated young man such as myself is doing unloading palettes of coffee/cheese at a grocery store. It’s well intentioned and as fair a question as any, I suppose, and I have a variety of answers.
I graduated in May 2009, just a few months after the economy tanked, so this is all I could find.
I needed a job with insurance after my wife became pregnant, so I had to put my freelance writing career on hold.
I always intended to change the world, but got fired from a non-profit job and became disenfranchised with everything related to professionally helping people.
I want to be a poet, so this is just to pay the bills until I can get a publisher interested.
I’m researching a novel.
All of these are true, to varying degrees. But they’re also mostly lies.
I don’t know who I will be, or what I will eventually do for money. Right now, I am a good father and husband. That’s all I know.