You know those people who’ve always known what they were going to be when they grew up? The ones who kept to the straight and narrow who never questioned their path, at least not for a moment or two. The ones who, even after they fall apart, pull it back together and package it and profit, because so many of us wish we could have that kind of one track mind and singular focus.
This isn’t for them.
This is for the wild and wandering ones. The ones who don’t believe in the almighty right way. The ones who’ve already fucked it up, and keep going anyway. The ones who are continuing to persevere in the face of their fear, fighting to create their art on their terms.
I have a few thoughts for you.
First of all, you have nothing to justify. You don’t have to settle on one title. You’re allowed to be nuanced and different, and you don’t need anyone’s approval or permission slip.
Second, depth is a strength – and it is not the sole possession of those who never branch out. Depth comes as much from a multidisciplinary practice across subjects as it does only allowing yourself to go deep on one thing.
Third, the satisfaction you crave can come in many different packages – so don’t get hung up on the title it comes with.
Finally, code-switching is an underappreciated skill – and it’s one that you have been gifted with since you’ve spent years learning to speak so many different languages.
I work with so many marvelous humans, and something they share is an abhorrence to being confined. I understand intimately. It’s a defining characteristic that can be located approximately between Being Human and having an upbringing that limited in some way who you were allowed to be.
After sabotaging myself so many times in the name of relinquishing the titles that would be attached to me as a result of accomplishing or finishing something, what I know is this.
You can always change your mind, but you’ll never be sorry for showing up.
If any of this spoke to you, here is my plea to you. Don’t be so afraid of being put into a box that you never make it where you want to go.
Be your own guide. Trust yourself. Show up over and over again exactly as you intend to in the truest way you can muster. This is where integrity lives. (And maybe it’s why it has perpetually felt out of reach, as you’ve grasped for something worth committing to.)
It sounds so trite to say be yourself, but I’m not convinced there is anything much else to do.