Thursday, December 30, 2010

Soul searching at a stuffy suit party

Tonight I went to a party celebrating a long-time politician's many years of public service. I wore my best suit and hob-nobbled with a room full of Senators, County Commissioners, Judges, business owners, and more well dressed, elderly people than I could count. When I say hob nob, what I meant was walk around for three minutes and then leave. Yep, I left. It wasn't my scene and I had to get out of there. I actually felt like I was suffocating.

Here's what I mean. Many times I've heard people say they don't see me as a banker. Here on eleven we've even had some discussions about who I am versus who I play on TV. During this current tumultuous season of my life I'm very aware of the soul-searching I'm going through. Some days I find it hard to go to work because I don't have the purpose/goal that existed when Ell was going to school. Every day I have to remind myself that being a banker is all I have right now to make money. But that's hard to do when the core of me isn't a banker.

And so tonight I found myself in a room of people who saw me as an equal. Banker... a respected profession with a long history of attributes like: skilled, schooled, prosperous, influential, trusted, and even though it sometimes causes questions of ethics..... rich. All things that also fit the rest of the people I was in the room with. And so they didn't even look at me weird even though the real Sam would much rather be smoking a pipe, hiking in the woods, living without electricity, growing my own food, and certainly not wearing the clothes I was in as they looked at me.

Of course I can fit into their world. Of course I'm a great banker. Of course I dress exactly as they do. Of course my car is expensive enough to fit between their Mercedes' and Caddy's. Of course I can talk to them about all the same high-class things they want to talk about. I can be one of them. Without any effort. I am a professional that could rub shoulders with other professionals and never raise red flags that I'm an outsider. I get that. All of that. I really do.

And I should be proud of this, no? I've made it into my mid-thirties with a solid reputation, an impressive resume, and a career that many people envy. I could go to any bank in any part of the country and get a job. In today's economy that's better than gold. And yet I'm lying if I say it fits.

I can already hear the words of others reading this diatribe. Get over yourself... Stop whining... Suck it up... Get a grip... Appreciate the good things you have... and the least helpful of all and potentially the most shocking -- trust in God and everything will be fine. All cause a genuine sigh because I know they all hold truth. But I'm just being honest here, even it turns some off to me.

So after three minutes, yes, three, I walked up the stairs and away from the room of peers. I'm simply tired of pretending. I'm still content to play banker by day, and honestly more devoted to that as it will provide a means to an end I'll talk about sometime in the future, but I'm just not going to pretend that's who I am outside of 8-5, M-F. I have better things to do than pretend. Take me as I am.


Blogger Nobody said...

Our work is rarely who we really are. I have met people who are their work and when they get out of that work, for whatever reason (retire), they have nothing. It is a job. Sure, you should be proud you are good at your job. We are supposed to be, but it is not who you are or how you identify yourself. I, too, have found myself attending function because I was expected to be there and leaving as soon as certain people saw me there. You are not alone.

10:51 PM  
Blogger Sweet Peripety said...

That's okay, Sam. I think you are awesome for being true to yourself.

10:01 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

i bet you werent the only 'banker' there who wanted to leave. you were just the one bold enough to go your own way. and i love that!

1:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Divorce can be a time for you to discover a new life. Rather it be a different career, new interests or just a new appreciation for's all part of the healing process. Be yourself bro! Keep on trucking...remember all good things, in all good time!

2:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good for you Sam! We would want you no other way than the way you are. You don't have to be anything other than YOU. :)

4:06 PM  

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