I made this video ages ago for work and even though we decided not to publish it, it’s still one of my faves 🙂 especially as it’s all about the inevitability of crashing, which I hope can paradoxically motivate all of us to get over our fear of failure.
Thanks to my colleagues Cat and Nadim and Kylie for the motion graphics savvy — turns out it’s not easy to, say, “draw” a red circle into a video, much less one that moves! — and to Luda for moral support always, including encouraging me to share this one ❤
As soon as I posted my last video it occurred to me: what I said was sort of true, but not nearly a COMPLETE representation of my experience of identity growing up. I thought about deleting the whole thing, but then I realized it was actually quite interesting to think about why it bothered me so much to leave an “incomplete” presentation of myself up on YouTube.
So many questions around how we present ourselves to others, and why!
Is it even possible to fully represent ourselves, in all our complexity, to anyone? How would we do it? Would it be worth the effort?
I am Chinese and Canadian-European (though to be honest I’m not sure if I marked that or the “American European” box on the New Zealand census last week) with both American and Canadian citizenship. Oddly, moving to New Zealand has made me feel more culturally Chinese.
But there are so many other ways that we identify ourselves. People like me often get asked the question I’ve used as the title to this post… which, incidentally, is not usually considered respectful, in case you were wondering 🙂
Americans love to ask “what do you do?” as if that is the only way to define who someone is… and that’s a question I also find really limited.
How do YOU identify?
For years I told myself I wasn’t cut out for a 9-5 job. When I ditched that story, I found a job that ultimately inspired me to move across an ocean. As of last week, this has officially been my longest stretch of employment ever (not counting the years I worked for myself) and I’m not planning on leaving any time soon!
I mentioned Rachel Meyer’s piece, You Are Not Your Story, for Down Under Yoga. I just adore Rachel’s writing; check it all out (and sign up for her e-newsletter!) on her website!
Whatever it is that I’m tapped into right now reminds me a LOT of a similar period I went through back in 1998 (dropped out of University; went to Australia to chart my OWN path; “discovered” art symbols God yoga Buddhism and so many other things that remain very important in my life…)
I still have lot of questions about how to make correspondence work in an era when we have too many communication choices. And I’m still hoping you’ll interact with me via this YouTube channel!
You can read more about the Paradox of Choice and the actual details of the jam sampling study here; I didn’t quite get the details right during the recording.
Per my last post about how nobody ever reads YouTube descriptions, here’s the description in most of its glory (I took out bits that are irrelevant in this context):
Dear friends: I miss you… and yet my life is so much better without social media. (“But YouTube is also a form of social media!” “I know, I’m embracing the contradiction!”). Can we figure out a way to transcend time zones and busy schedules so we can connect and collaborate around the BIG, JUICY STUFF that’s beyond what can happen via social media? I hope so!
You can sign up for my e-newsletter here.
And here’s a link to my very awesome brother’s Instagram account, where he showcases his very awesome life.
Also a note – just because Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat don’t work FOR ME doesn’t mean they might not do wonders for you! I don’t mean to judge anyone who finds that these platforms do in fact improve your lives. And I’m still hoping you’ll join me here somehow 🙂
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