all posts tagged 'identity'

You Can Be More Than One Thing

🔗 a linked post to » — originally shared here on

I wanted to recapture the excitement I used to feel over finding out something that not very many people knew — the satisfaction I used to get from wrestling with things, spinning them around and trying to see the different angles. Before it all got buried beneath analytics and followers and “impact” and gimmicks and waiting for the next round of layoffs.

Not knowing how to say any of this out loud, I didn’t tell anyone. I just slowed down — backed off of pitching editors, stopped picking up late night phone calls from sources. I shifted my focus to editing other people’s work, which is less stressful and also pays better. I wrote some personal essays and took some college classes and sat on my kitchen floor trying to imagine what my Twitter bio would say if it didn’t start with “Freelance journalist.”

When I left JMG in March, this exact sort of identity crisis was a huge marble that wouldn’t stop rattling around my brain.

In the past nine months, I’ve become more comfortable letting go of my identities. Besides, what good are identities anyway?

My interests, my career path, my marital and paternal status, being a “runner”, being “the guy who always gets his steps in”, being “the guy who runs an app development company”… those are all tiny parts that add up to the whole.

My third grade teacher used to make us listen to a song every day that had a chorus which said “I can be the best I can be.”

And I think at this point in my life, that’s all I need to be.

(Thanks, Ms. Salute. ❤️)

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The BuzzFeedification of Mental Health

🔗 a linked post to » — originally shared here on

Two parts of this article really spoke to me:

The more capitalism wants us to feel scrambled so that we are isolated, automatonized, and susceptible to replacing our own needs with the needs of capital, the more quickly capitalism needs to sell us an ever-wider array of identities to feel secure and logical within.

It does feel tough, as a millennial with a school-aged child, to navigate all of the various identities that “youths” cling onto these days.

“A successful contemporary politics has stakes in defining the rhythmic flow between schizophrenic and identificatory impulses,” he writes. “Hopefully, alternative rhythms can challenge, or at least syncopate, the accelerating rhythm of late capitalism.”

What he’s saying is that we need to stop taking the stripping of our identities and the selling of new ones to us as a given, and start to create our own, at our own pace, in our own way.

I went for a walk around Lough Eske this afternoon, and I was thinking about the identity I want to create for myself.

Identity has been something that is of keen interest to me lately, especially after leaving JMG.

I feel like since taking a step back from the persona of “app developer / entrepreneur”, I’ve been able to be more curious and exploratory.

It’s why my headline on LinkedIn is “anecdotalist.” It’s a touch douchey, for sure, but it feels like the closest I can get to how I feel.

Anyway, read this article and think about how it applies to the beliefs that you hold most closely. Whether that’s Christian, an intellectual, a parent, or whatever. Take some time to reflect on why you feel like you have to be ”something”.

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The Surfer’s Secret to Happiness

🔗 a linked post to » — originally shared here on

And the thing about surfers? They don’t seem to regret all that time they don’t spend standing on boards and riding waves. Not only are they surfers all the time, they are, it seems to me, happy all the time.

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