When someone asks me the question “what do you do?” I blink at them, look and locate the nearest exit, and make a run for it.
It’s impossible to say:
I’m a Bridesmaid for Hire, author of Always a Bridesmaid – For Hire, You’re Not Getting Any Younger podcast host, freelance writer for pubs like Yahoo, NBC, Bravo + more, a hired speaker and workshop host for companies like Google, ESPN, The Brooklyn Brewery + more, and a 1:1 coach for individuals who feel “stuck” in life…
….without watching their heads practically spin like a tornado trying to understand the crock-pot-like mixture of things I just said.
Usually, I lie.
“I write things.”
“I work in the wedding industry.”
I do anything to downplay all of the incredible things I’ve worked really hard for in my 31 years, all of the rejection I’ve beat up, the hours I’ve sat awake, meditating about my life to the pounds of my heart, and the *things* (people, places, things…..) I’ve sacrificed to get to where I am today.
It’s hard to look a person in the eye and talk about yourself if you’re not the kind of person who enjoys talking about yourself.
But we have to try.
Today someone asked me what my biggest fear is and I lead with the easy one first:
“I’m scared of getting stuck inside an enclosed slide.”
And as they laughed and questioned and started to understand, I cleared my throat and said:
“Can I tell you the real big one though? The one that sometimes makes me dizzy?”
“It’s that I’ll die and never accomplish what I want to accomplish. It’s the fear that I’ll never live up to who I know I can be.”
And the person went silent and so did I. But then they said:
“Well, Jen, that’s heavy. But how can you accomplish more when you hardly sulk in all that you’ve done?”
I would have said something like “Oh, please. I’ve accomplished nothing.” or “You really don’t understand. I have big plans! Huge ones! Extra-large goals!”
But I’m so sick of my own self-sabotage so, finally, I said:
“Yes, you’re right. I’m Jen Glantz. Bridesmaid for Hire, author of two books, podcaster, freelance writer of hundreds of articles, workshop host, helper of strangers who are eager to disrupt their lives and I’ve done so much and I have more in me.”
I need to start saying that more often. To myself, to you, to the stranger on the airplane when they ask you what you do as the plane is reaching 35,000 feet.
& you do too, as a reminder of where you’ve been so that you can keep finding the oomph to do even more.