“So…what do you DO?”
This is a loaded question which really annoys me, and I cringe every time I hear it. I resent the fact that many people are so quick to assess someone on the basis of what he or she “does” for a living, without taking into account the possibility that the person may have more than one defining profession, avocation, or passion.
I love being multidimensional, and though it means I have sacrificed in some areas, I have also gained flexibility and freedom. I can do what I love, whether it is as a physician, model, fitness professional, writer, or brand influencer. And to top it off, there are countless other people who are “slashes”, with more than one career in place. Don’t expect me to pick one career that defines me.
When most people find out that I am a medical doctor, they struggle with the stereotype of what they expect doctors to be like, in other words, very conservative in dress and demeanor, and without any flavor or personality. Well, there is nothing conservative about me, and I’m not one of those docs who can’t stop talking shop. I will NEVER be a typical doctor. And please don’t doubt my credentials or schooling. I am NOT a nurse (not that there is anything wrong with this highly respected profession). I am a fully licensed and board certified physician.
I will also never consider myself to be only a physician. Yes, I am a board certified physician. But I am also a degreed (Bachelor’s) fitness professional, professional athlete (IFBB Pro), writer, model, and brand ambassador. If that’s too much for one to process, too bad. Because I am ALL of those things, and then some. I am just as much about fitness, bodybuilding and wellness as I am about medicine, and I shouldn’t have to choose one over the others. I am damned proud of what I have accomplished in bodybuilding, especially because I was in my forties when I took things to the next level, and I was already established in my medical career.
I will not apologize to people who are confused by the sampler plate philosophy by which I live and who don’t believe that it’s possible to be more than one thing. Truth is, I live as what Marci Alboher describes in her book One Person Multiple Careers as a Slash, and I am proud of it. I know it’s unusual, but why is that so hard for people to grasp? I mean, here I am, doing all that I do, switching gears constantly, and sending a message to the world that no one should have to be one-dimensional and boring.
I am honest. I have sass, and I speak my mind. I will NOT hide parts of myself which some overly judgmental people may have a problem with. I am NOT going to apologize for having a sense of humor, for using cuss words here and there (though I don’t use them while seeing patients). I am not going to paint a false picture of who I am. If you don’t like what I am doing, no worries. Move on.
Here’s a message to you if you find that you are someone who is compromising your own vision, dreams, or goals, because you perceive a need to choose one thing to define you. Perhaps you need to re-examine why you are allowing that to occur. If you subscribe to a no limits philosophy, then you would never even consider pulling the reins back. I will always encourage driven people to go for whatever they want, and if it doesn’t fit in with the conventions of one of their chosen careers or hobbies, even better. Break stereotypes and show people what you are made of.