I’ve found myself having to assert my identity as a writer in a new way, and it brings about feelings.
Titles and business cards have always held a lot of meaning for me because words always have too. As I got older and navigated the professional world as a weird woman who rarely had any interest in doing the expected, being described accurately became increasingly important. Before I moved into tech, I fought for the title of content strategist; when my employer wouldn’t give it to me, for reasons they never could adequately explain, I found it elsewhere. Later, the term engineer became very important. Software engineer and site reliability engineer and security engineer, one after the other, all chasing legitimacy since I don’t and likely will never have a computer science degree.
In another area of my life, phases and worlds away, I put myself to the business of being a serious cartoonist. I’ve written a number of zines and three quarters of a graphic novel, three of four planned issues, and in that phase of my life, my business cards said “doer of things and maker of stuff.” A friend visited me recently and mentioned that era of cards as we talked about searching for our next identities, professional and not, as we get older. “When I saw that, I knew you were seeking,” he said. It was, as it still always is, startling to be seen accurately. I grew up thinking I could be invisible and came to prefer it, and reminders that I am not and cannot be remain a surprise, even after so much time.