In all my worry and thought over what it means if someday (soon or eventually) my occupation stops being "scientist", if this goes from my job, to just a hobby or interest, in all my emotional upheaval over the past week, I've been thankful to have good people by my side and checking in on me.
The other night, as my boyfriend and I watched TV, we had an interesting exchange.
I commented on his laugh, because he'd laughed in this kind of evil-laughter way. I commented that I loved it, that I loved all his laughs, that he had three different kinds of laughs, at least.
He answered with some combination of amusement, and curiosity about my categorizations of his laughter (within the hour, I catelogued 5 distinct categories of laughs), but most importantly, he said something about how my noticing this, and quantifying it, was related to my being a scientist. I suppose this is what happens when you date a scientist.
That played in my head a bit. In part, because it was such a fun, random, amusing exchange (and, very us). In part, though, it also made me realize something that I hadn't seen before. I am a scientist, perhaps, not because I have a university ID card, or a degree, or a job that pays me to discover things. Perhaps, I am a scientist, at least in some small way, because of who I am, because of who God made me to be.
Maybe I haven't been seeking an identity in science, but embracing (sometimes too-tightly maybe) an expression of my identity in Him.
Maybe it's possible to separate my value from my work, and see Him as the source of it all, even my science-y nature.
Because it is who I am... my thought life is made up of observations and descriptions. My inclination is to write and take pictures-- to document. To discuss, to gather information, to study. It is my inclination when I read the Bible, when I try to sort out my feelings about my own life, when I'm in the lab analyzing data, and when I listen to my boyfriend laugh.
Regardless of what else I do in life, this will always be a part of me. I am a scientist. God made me that way.