Much of who we are is determined by what we do, and that fact unnerves me. While I’m excited at the prospect of a full-time job in the field I love, I’ve entertained the idea that my title, two, three, maybe four words, will usurp my identity — a chaotic mixture of time, phases, values and, of course, my tendency to spontaneously rap the extended “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” theme song.
My blog serves as an act of rebellion, perhaps, as I strive to preserve the erratic nature of my identity in a world that too often requires me to be one thing. For example, it’s tough to be Taylor the journalist and Taylor the life-writer.
I exist simultaneously in two literary realms, each with a different take on truth, time and the projection of identity on the page.
Often, I feel forced to isolate journalist Taylor and life-writer Taylor. When I’m not in need of life-writer Taylor and her knowledge, journalist Taylor steps in, offering a break to the other — a neat, orderly cycle. Yet they clash violently with every word I produce, neither genre ever really winning the battle.
“Weaving.” I keep falling back on that word to explain that my genres, interests, skills, habits and hobbies are inextricable, each contingent on all the others’ existence. It’s a comforting verb, one that reminds me I’m not one thing over another, and I don’t have to declare an identity.
More than ever lately, I find unexpected comfort not in what I know but what I don’t. There’s something reassuring about the turbulent act of identity formation, something that reminds me it’s normal to get it all wrong, go back and try again.
I likewise find comfort in the fact that whatever job I land, whatever title I throw in my Twitter bio, it’s only one part of who I am. Because I’m not about to give up wannabe-rapper Taylor.