What do you (really) do?

I never know what to answer when people ask where I live.

Or what I do.

It seems people have a hard time to grapple me. Probably because the explanations are too difficult – or easy – for daily conversations.

Anyway, I gave up trying to fit into a formula long ago.

A few funny occurrences lately though have had me thinking about the label of a “searching phase” that many wants to stick to the imaginary box we put others in.

A friend asked: What is it you do now Helen? Not right now, but in general?

Provocatively, I answered: Oh, isn’t it more interesting what I am doing right now? Live in the Now! Wink wink.

He still wanted to know so I added:

I am just not doing anything “in general”…right Now…



Another funny thing when I was having a beer out with a buddy and being introduced to his friend he of course asked; what do you do?

My buddy could tell I didn’t know where to start so he quickly filled in:

– Hon är en Livsnjutare “one who enjoys life”– as if that was a job title. He also dug the idea that I should have that printed on business cards.

Not that it would make anything easier.

A really funny scenario: I went to visit my old roomie, Lina, and not having met her boyfriend in a while we greeted and being straight to the point, he asked:

– So what, are you unemployed now?

What’s funny about this, is that me and Lina started laughing hysterically. Her boyfriend looked puzzled, wondering what was so funny about being unemployed. We tried to explain that in the tourism and service field no one is ever unemployed, just in between jobs. But all credit to Glenn, he really put me on the spot.

Another example of how tricky it is sometimes to express what we do: I was walking to the subway together with an acquaintance of a friend, making conversations. I asked about his work and he said he makes some money looking out for a dog, but that really he was a graffiti and graphic print artist. What do you do, he asked me back.

– Oh, I am in the tourism and service industry I said, but really I want to write.

There just always seems to be a really.

And a reality.

I wonder if the secret lies in finding a way to combine them.

I’ll keep searching 😉