What do you do?

I’ve always cringed a little (sometimes a lot) when asked the question “what do you do?” This is partly due to long periods of my life when I actually did very little—I was unemployed, careerless, in some low-paid job, just getting by. But also, when I did finally begin to craft a place in the world where I felt I could add value, it was never easy to explain in a simple answer, such as I am a doctor, I am a zoo keeper, photographer, writer, porn star. Whatever. If I was working I’d be doing some quirky publishing project, or employed by some obscure government agency or NGO, helping people (like me!) find work and a place in the world. Hardly compelling dinner conversation.

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