Is it bad when filing your taxes gives you an existential crisis?

I had to monkey with my insurance paperwork when I went into the urgent care a while ago. The lady with the Official Computer Forms asked me what I did for a living, which is apparently a required question despite the fact that state insurance in MA is entirely based on income, not field of employment. I had no answer. Fiscal 2016 is the first year I've ever had to file as completely self-employed, as 0% of my paying work was as a serf beneath giant capitalist overlords. The insurance lady pulled out her phone, opened some kind of TurboTax app, and casually informed me that I was an "Artist". 

I might have argued with her, but I was busy trying to pinpoint what exact part of my body was hurting so I could ask them to amputate. I probably just made some kind of non-specific noise of agreement.

This feeling that you have to wear your "job" as your identity has always eluded me. Identity badges in general weird me out. I'm a human who has thoughts and engages in activities, no one of which is so fundamental to my life that I feel comfortable using it as descriptive synecdoche. If you ask me what I do with my day, you'll get a whole slew of mixed verbs; if you ask me what I "do", you're asking me to guess at how other people would categorize me, and fuck me, I've got no clue.

Other people keep telling me that my life is "interesting". This is not useful feedback. This could mean anything from 'holy shit, you're awesome, I wish I could do that' to 'you appear to be a shiftless dilettante, and this is the least-offensive comment I can come up with'.

I am aware that what I call myself will affect how people react to me. I did manage to finish a sociology degree, once upon a time. It irks me. Assigning myself one identity and handing it to people as a blanket introduction makes it seem like none of the things I do that fall outside the perceived bounds of that identity are of any import.

They are all important, goddamnit. I am not an adjective.

On the other hand, I have no qualms about telling the federal government to classify me as "pookie" if it makes filing paperwork any easier. You don't have to be a good artist to put that down on your tax forms; you just have to be a paid one.


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