Sunday, January 6, 2013

What's your Identity?

Saturday evening I arrived at a local restaurant to pick-up my food order and I heard my named called out.
It was a couple (Jennifer and Jeff) that both were employed where I work during the day. Jennifer had moved onto a new job at a different company a few years ago and I hadn’t seen her lately.
Jennifer’s first question was- if I still worked at_______?
After I responded it hit me:
People associate your identity with what they know about you.
It made me realize- where I work isn’t what I wanted to be labeled as or known for. I want to be known as a writer, author, blogger, someone who cares and makes a difference. Apparently, I haven’t made a big enough impact.  

In August, I had the privilege of being invited to a private reunion party for a band (Souvenir) I followed heavily in Cleveland, Ohio between 1978 and 1980. The lead vocalist was gracious enough to introduce me to fellow writers and guests. When introducing me, I was referred as being a writer for The Cleveland Plain Dealer. I pulled him aside and explained I just write blogs in the online version of The Plain Dealer and was never employed by the company.

An honest mistake and I have to admit it gave me some instant credence. He stated: “Everyone knows your blog (which was very kind of him) anyway, so it doesn’t matter.” I knew he was trying to make me feel better about myself due to  some changes in my music career.George is one of the true genuine nice guys in the Cleveland music scene and it’s an honor to be a friend.

Decades ago, during my years of self-indulgence; I ran into a kid who shares the same name as me at a concert. When the other Jim Carver got in trouble, sometimes people would think it was me (hmmm.. I wonder why). We actually attended the same school. He elaborated at how much he wanted to be like me and how he saw me so many nights plastered on drink and drug.
To him, I was a hero. He made me realize something I never knew- I had been setting a horrible example of addiction and destruction for some younger folks. I wanted so bad to tell him-you don’t want to be like me, but I didn’t have the guts. I am hoping he found his way out of the old lifestyle.
Life is too short to live in someone else’s mind for the wrong reasons. It’s so easy to stay in your own comfort zone and never take a chance on being known for whom you are and what you do. It’s far easier to quietly open a door, instead of making an impact.
One of my goals is to do some things differently in 2013. I am at a crossroads with the direction of The Rust Belt Chronicles and where it goes from here. This year, I will do some things I have held back from doing in 2012, things that scared me.
Perhaps, it’s the push to leave a legacy where people will know what I do and why I do it or better yet; it’s my opportunity to link my identity with something meaningful that matters!
Until We Meet Again,
 Jim Carver
Author: The Legacy of David A. Wells- The Lexington High School “Band of Gold”
Something Meaningful that Matters!
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  1. It seems like there is a bunch of us that are making the same move with the same determination. I'm glad ! That means we can all be an encouragement for each other and share information.

    1. I certainly hope so, it's a long process but worth it! Thank you for being here! Jim

  2. Jim I love that you are so transparent and honest - and this post is no exception. I totally agree with your goal for this year. "People associate your identity with what they know about you." Very, very true and we have to be intentional and courageous in being who we truly are so people know us as we wish to be known. I can relate in the area of sharing my faith in what I do. I work a job as well as building my coaching business. Years ago I was very cautious about speaking out in faith not wanting to "offend" people. When I stopped being timid and in a loving and courteous way spoke my truth - it was amazing how people responded. I was told not to be so "out there" with this on my website but I feel if it offends someone and they don't contact me for that reason, I am not the right coach for them anyway. Great post, Jim.

    1. Good point- timid hasn't gotten me anywhere.I use to want people to like me and I always worried about what they thought of me. In that process it's easy to compromise yourself and intentions. Thanks so much Ann! Jim

  3. Jim, your level of candor never ceases to amaze and bless! You inspire hearts far more than you know through your writing and your presence. "This year, I will do some things I have held back from doing in 2012, things that scared me." I am looking forward to seeing these things unfold. God's richest blessings to you!

    1. Caroline,
      You are so kind and warm-hearted. Thank you for inspiring me by letting me know what I do matters! Thank you so much, Jim

  4. This article inspire me.

    Moreover, I read your profile. It make me more happy in blogging.

    Thank you, sir!

    1. Komarudin,
      I am glad it makes you happy and I inspired you. Thank you for your kind comment my friend!

      Thank you,
      Jim Carver