Who are you from 5 p.m. to 9 a.m.?

Originally published on Medium:



I am a computational biologist, is that all I am, or more that define me as a human being than what I do from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m? Historically, we are defined by what we do professionally. It's a massive part of our identity, especially for people who pursue a career, such as doctors, scientists, lawyers, teachers, etc. But what if what we do from 9 to 5 is taken away from us, then what are we left with? Who will we be? What will be our identity?

I have heard countless times from women who were professionals, and later, due to marriage, pregnancy, or change in visa status, unable to work for some time, say that they are not a housewife if they somehow addressed as such. It shows how important their professional identity means to them. I can understand this type of insecurity, especially for women who usually struggle more than men to build their careers to be addressed as something they tried all their lives not to be. I am sure most men under similar situations would react the same.

So, that makes me ask who are we from 5 p.m. to 9 a.m. when we are not pursuing our careers? Is our entire being is defined by what we do in the 8 hours of the day, or is there more to us by what we do in the rest of 16 hours of the day? So, if I am not a computational biologist, I would like to ask myself, who am I?

I want to be known as an attractive person to hang out with because he can talk about a wide variety of subjects or has hobbies ranging from ham radio to reading books to outdoor activities to photography. Also, someone who follows an organized religion but is comfortable around people with various spiritual and religious ideas. Someone who is laid back and easy-going at the same time sophisticated and cultured. I want people to know me more than my CV - not just my friends and relatives but everyone. I do not want to be labeled just as a computational biologist; yes, that's what I do to earn my living. I am passionate about it, and I am excellent at it. But that is not all who I am. I do and want to do many things from 5 p.m. to 9 a.m. in my life.

This also makes me think that if I am not a computational biologist in an elite government agency, am I a better or more important person out on the street? Should a person on a lower-paying job be intimidated by me, or [should he listen to all my opinions even if I am not qualified on a particular subject](https://www.thedoe.com/narratives/dont-listen-to-celebs-on-politics)? If my profession does not define me, I should be on par with everyone else and then be compared based on our interests and personalities outside the work environment. That is why God has created us equal, and we all are also equal under the law in most countries. Both are not interested in how much money we bring but our actions and conduct.

So, who are you from 5 p.m. to 9 a.m.?